Bad Weather’s Effect on Sales

by Steve Pruitt

Q: I have a store in New England and the recent onslaught of winter storms has really put a damper on our business. What can I do to minimize the damage?

StevePruitt-FEATUREDSteve Pruitt: I understand your situation, and unfortunately bad weather is a risk that all retailers face. The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Did you plan your sales correctly, or are you overbought? If you think you planned your sales correctly you need to shift your inventory forward. Project what your ending inventory will be and adjust your on-orders. If you’re overbought, you may need to cancel or modify some of your on-orders. Vendors don’t like this, but you don’t really have a choice.

The good news is that it’s the beginning of the season and there should be some built-up demand for when the weather changes and people can get out and shop again. This is another example of why you need to be setting aside financial reserves and getting the best performance you can the rest of the year. If you do this, missing sales for a month won’t hit you so hard. Good luck.