Really Honey...The Weather Made Me Buy It!August 4th, 2011 | Bill Kirk
For almost 10 years now we've been working with some of America's most successful and admired companies in retail, seasonal category manufacturers, agriculture, and Wall Street to help them better plan their businesses around NEXT YEAR'S weather forecast. But in reality it's all about all of us who buy these products and, believe it or not, the weather plays a big role in what we buy and when we buy it. After reading this blog I'll give both spouses an excuse to say, "Really Honey, the weather made me buy all that beer," or, "It's so hot out Honey, the weather made me buy all those strappy sandals"! :)
So you don't think the weather influences what you buy or when you buy it or how much you buy? We won't go into all the crazy analytical math that we've done over the past decade proving seasonal category sales like sandals, beer, beverages, AC and fans, apparel, flowers, pizza, and even mouse traps all of which are impacted by the weather, but here's a list of what a 1F change in temperatures does to many of the products we buy everyday.
Let's start with the BEER (I know, every blog should be about the beer!)...We all know that we tend to drink more when it's hot out, but did you know we consume +1.2% more beer and cold beverages for every 1F hotter than last year? This Summer in parts of the South it's been considerably hotter than last year. Dallas, Texas, as an example, trended +5.5F warmer in July 2011 than July 2010.
Let's apply our math to the above sales and that means we drank +6.6% more beer just because of the hotter weather. So guys, you can honestly say...the weather made me drink more! What about air conditioner sales? They can soar as much as 24% for every 1F warmer, so in Texas it's not surprising that sales were off the chart with +132% or better sales this July over last year. Ladies, your binge shoe-buying in July is justified as well! Every 1F warmer we buy +2% more sandals, so in Dallas that meant an +11% increase in sandal sales. So ladies, you too can say the weather made me shop! :)
Every time we show our client list everyone asks, "What does the weather have to do with that client?". Here's a list of our bigger clients, think about how weather impacts each of them.
Some of the unusual ones are Reckitt Benckiser's D-Con mouse traps. What does weather have to do with mouse trap sales? Yup, mice are just like us humans, when it gets cold in the Fall they too want a warm place for Winter, so they head into our garages, sheds and homes. Every 1F colder in the Fall there can be a whopping 25% increase in mouse trap sales! Even hurricanes are a plus for mouse trap sales as flooding rains cause the mice to scurry for drier ground and that's usually our homes. Think about what you do on the first major cold snap in Fall, bet you loaded up the pantry on soups, hot cocoa, and other comfort food categories! Bet you also bought some fire logs, maybe turned the heat on for the first time which caused your skin to dry out so you bought lip care and skin care products. The weather can also make you sick as the first cold snaps cause the air in our homes to dry out which makes us more susceptible to spreading cold bugs to each other, in turn leading to a spike in cough/cold medicines.
What's the weather got to do with AutoZone? Did you car battery ever fail on a really hot Summer day? Yup...car batteries are weather impacted and as many as 22,424 fail with every 1F warmer than it was last year across the U.S. Who washes and waxes their car when it's 100F - you don't, so wax sales actually go up in cooler summer weather. Things like car engine belts, ac compressors, and radiators all fail when it gets too hot. When it's wetter or snowier we tend to buy more wiper blades, washer fluid, and winter accessories.
So, if you really think about it, the weather is actually a big part of why we buy, how much we buy and when we buy!
More big math came from our former Under Secretary to the Department of Commerce (Conrad C. Lautenbacher) who said that "One third of our U.S. economy is impacted by the weather."...That's trillions of dollars. So, the next time you go on a buying binge and your significant other gives you grief - just say THE WEATHER MADE ME DO IT! Now you have the facts to back up your story! :) Happy shopping.
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