Captain's Log 29 Apr '23 Soft Start to May Ahead

Captain's Log
29 April '23: Happy Saturday! :)

The 4-week retail calendar April (2-29 Apr) is in the history books, and it was more favorable than March. For the U.S., April trended +1.1F warmer than last year but 17th coolest of the past 38 years with slightly below average national temperatures. The Midwest to the Northeast was the most improved region for seasonal merchandise sales. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW.

LOG 1-min

Rainfall was -6% drier than last year, 16th driest of the past 38 years and below average nationally. Snowfall was also down -10% vs last year but still 16th snowiest of the past 38 years. Overall these were favorable trends for higher YOY sales gains. Europe and the UK were generally less favorable with cooler and wetter trends.

LOG 2-min

Easter week in the middle of the month was clearly the bright spot for stronger sales gains and higher store traffic. May looks to trend cooler and drier with severe weather/tornadoes continuing, so an overly soft month YOY for seasonal sales. The two major holidays in May (Mother's Day and Memorial Day) look to be less favorable than a year ago. Hotter/Drier weather is the most ideal weather conditions for stronger sales gains.

LOG 3-min

There were another 25 tornadoes this week with the year-to-date totals at 593. This is up +4% over last year, +27% above average, the most in 11 years and in the top 10% of history. With a cooler May, the threat of an active month ahead continues despite an overall drier pattern than a year ago.

LOG 4-min

Last week (23-29 Apr) across the World shows the U.S. trending -2.1F colder than last year, coldest in 18 years and 3rd coldest in 38 years with much below average national temperatures. A bright spot would be the Pacific Northwest with much warmer and drier conditions benefiting Spring merchandise sales. Rainfall was up +54% over last year, most in 4 years and 14th wettest of the past 38 years. Nationally, this was a very unfavorable end to April and end to Q1 for most retailers. If Easter week sales weren't exceptional, the quarter overall is likely to be very soft when earnings seasons starts.

China had some late frost and freezes in their Northeast growing regions with the coldest end to April in over 38 years.

LOG 5-min

This week (30 Apr - 6 May) shows more of the same with cool and wet conditions in the East with the Northwest the most favored region. California cools off with more late season rainfall. California is unusually lush and green with abundant wildflower displays across the hills. For the U.S. overall, the week trends -2.5F colder than last year, coldest in 3 years and 8th coldest of the past 38 years. Rainfall down 40% vs last year, driest in 3 years and 15th driest of the past 38 years. This remains an unfavorable week for spring merchandise sales compared to a year ago.

LOG 6-min

Next week (7-13 May) with a shifting pattern as the warmth moves back into the Central U.S. and the West cools off. An improving trend across the East Coast. The U.S. overall trends -2.0F cooler than last year but 13th warmest of the past 38 years with above average national temperatures. Rainfall +4% wetter than last year but still 5th driest of the past 38 years. The drier weather in the Heartland is a plus for America's farmers getting their crops in the ground.

LOG 7-min

The 2-week World outlook (30 Apr - 13 May) shows much cooler conditions for Central and Eastern Europe while Canada and the Central U.S. generally warm up.

LOG 8-min

We end today's video with a trip to see Casting Crowns in concert with a good friend who recently lost their father. Fortunate the band played their dad's favorite song; always a good day when you can bring a smile to someone suffering the loss of a loved one. The little Angelina Kirk and her best friend are front and center with the band, their first concert...happy kids!

Have a great week ahead, and don't forget to follow us on social media for frequent updates: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Linkedin.

- Captain Kirk out.