Mild weather is expected to boost foot traffic in stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but could hurt demand for cold weather categories. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The massive snow in Buffalo, New York this week is a reminder - no retailer is safe from storms that keep shoppers at home. So there's a lot of relief that this year mild weather is expected just as retailers get ready for the big Thanksgiving weekend sales push. Scott Bernhardt- President of Planalytics. SOUNDBITE: SCOTT BERNHARDT, PRESIDENT, PLANALYTICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This is an early Christmas present to a lot of retailers. This weather has been good news. The cold that has been happening leading up to the holiday week, the Thanksgiving week, has been excellent for retailers. It will flip just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday to make it easy for people to get to the stores, get to the malls start thinking about the Christmas season so it's a good, and a good, even though the weather is flipping." He says getting customers into stores is key - the more trips, the more impulse buys. The weather also impacts what people buy once they get to the store: "If you are cold on the way from parking your car on your way into the mall, you are much more likely to head for the apparel sections and look for jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, things of that nature. If it is a pleasant trip from your car into the mall, you are much more likely to head for the toys, the jewelry, cosmetics, things of that nature." The stakes are high. According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season is expected to represent about $617 billion in potential consumer spending.