Unless you’re selling snow shovels or blowers, the winter storm that blanketed the northeast hasn’t been too friendly to retailers.
Blizzard conditions have dropped more than a foot of snow in some areas on the east coast, which have wrecked havoc on air traffic, train service and left driving conditions extremely dicey. All those conditions don’t bode well for retailers who count on heavy foot traffic for significant sales on the day after Christmas. Dow Jones’ Corrie Driebusch reports:
Snowstorms hitting midwest and east coast dampen retailers’ Christmas spirits, says NPD Group. With Christmas on Saturday and Sunday lost to blizzards, retailers scrambling to recover sales. This year the day after Christmas — generally one of the biggest days of the year for shopping — “was poised to be one of the top six days of retail,” firm says. Now it warns this is likely no longer the case. Retailers may be able to recover, but it’ll take two to three weeks longer. New Years next weekend set to distract customers from shopping, too, which will deal yet another blow to retailers.
But it’s not all bad for retailers. The winter storm has given a pop to sales at home-improvement chains. Dow Jones’ Max Murphy reports Home Depot (HD) says it “saw strong demand for snow shovels, snow blowers and ice melt along the East Coast — from North Carolina to Maine.”
Home Depot shares were recently up 0.3% at $35.18.