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Retailers enjoy strong demand in November despite big freeze

Published: 2 December 2010
Last month delivered a good performance in autumn and winter products, as the cold snap kept consumers focused on Christmas shopping but snowfall could continue to disrupt high street traffic.
Retailers enjoy strong demand in November despite big freeze
For the second year running, Planaltyics Weathercall report for November recorded noteworthy weather conditions for the month. Last year's heavy rain caused flooding problems in Cumbria and other parts of the country - this year it is snowfall and record low temperatures.

The positive side is, says Planalytics, that it keeps the strong start to the autumn winter season going, and has also helped stimulate an early interest in Christmas buying. According to the report, retailers have enjoyed strong demand in November autumn winter products including clothing, boots and heaters. The business weather intelligence company explained: "The timing of the positive weather-driven demand was excellent for retailers, as much of it was at full margin - plus it has kicked off Christmas shopping stronger than last year. "

A milder start to November, with frequent rainfall, resulted in weaker demand for cold weather goods and services but, despite this, said Planalytics, many consumers stayed in an autumnal mindset after a cool October.

Since then, temperatures have lagged behind both normal and those recorded last year, creating what Planalytics describes as a positive weather input. "Although cool, the weather was not yet disruptive, and the mid month period was dominated by dry weather giving a frosty start in many places...These conditions were positive for driving sales and kept consumers focused on winter products and also kept Christmas shopping more front of mind."

However, snow and ice at the end of the month naturally disrupted footfall to high streets and out-of-town centres but, in return, boosted online and catalogue shopping, which saw a significant lift in sales to end the month, as consumers stayed indoors. With much of the UK still experiencing heavy snowfalls, this is a trend that could continue.

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