Published: 06/06/2018

How does hot weather affect sales

Business Growth

We are now well into the summer and at Payzone we couldn’t be happier. After a bitterly cold winter, we have finally been rewarded with some warm weather - at long last. Summer is associated with being outdoors, hanging out with friends in beer gardens and of course plenty of BBQs. But as you will all know, consumer trends are often dictated by the weather. And if summer makes people feel good then this will be reflected in what they purchase. So how exactly does hot weather affect sales?

Summer friendly goods tend to perform well

During the summer period certain products will enjoy a peak in sales - especially if it’s very hot. Items such as sun cream, and cooler clothes, will sell significantly better than they would during the Winter or Autumn. It’s warmer, therefore people buy what makes them feel more comfortable. This was reflected in figures from last year’s heatwave. According to an article from the Telegraph, items that sold particularly well for retailers were BBQs and paddling pools. Again, no big surprises here - if your business specialises in these items then you will know that summer is the time for peak business.

Food and summer a great combo that means more sales

If you’re like us, the summer is a great time to explore all sorts of culinary delights. Whether it’s stocking up on avocados at your local supermarket or going to try some Korean BBQ at your local street food market. Summer and food go together and everyone wants to get in on the act. The foodie revolution has proven to be big business. If your business is in the FMCG or you offer some kind of speciality food then don’t be surprised if this summer brings in significant business - better hope it doesn’t rain!

...Or it can be too hot to shop

On the flip side the warm weather can hurt sales, particularly if the weather is warm - unusual but it can happen. Two years ago, the UK experienced an incredible heatwave with temperatures entering the mid 30s - and this had an adverse effect on sales. In August 2016, it was reported that total retail sales fell by 0.3% compared to 0.1% the previous year. The balmy conditions, in addition to the huge success of Team GB in the Olympics, created an overall sales slump. People were much more inclined to be either outdoors or watching medals being won. It will be interesting to see if hot weather and a successful summer for England in this years World Cup has a similar effect in 2018.

An Indian summer can hurt autumnal stock

Let’s face it, summer in the UK is temperamental to say the least. One day can be full of glorious sunshine, and then 24 hours later could be torrential rain. There is no consistent pattern to the weather. Therefore, a wet beginning to the summer may be followed by a glorious end that can sometimes go well into October - it has happened before. 3 years ago saw unusual weather in October that hit the upper 20s. This seasonal imbalance can have an impact on stores - particularly in the run up to Christmas. So if a small store is selling items such as warm clothes or anything wintry - unusual weather will undoubtedly make it harder to shift stock.

David Goulden Copywriter
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