Regional Sales Trends Driven by Recent Cold Weather

Ice-melt and firewood score in the East; beverages win our West

Published in CSP Daily News

BERWYN, Pa. -- Where there’s ice and snow—and that’s a lot of places right now—there’s opportunity to sell more snow-removal and ice-melt products, as well as hot foods, and winter automotive goods, according to the most recent weather analysis from Planalytics.

“It was a cold and snow-filled January throughout North America,” the business weather intelligence firm reported this week. “The United States was its coldest in three years with stark regional trends. Snowfall was also the most in three years, although rainfall was the least since 2003. Canada also had its coldest retail January since 2011, with more rain than last year, but less snow.

The Berwyn, Pa.-based firm reported the following regional trends and opportunities for January:

  • Polar plunges in the East: Cold temperatures drove seasonal apparel purchases.
  • Ice & Snow: Several winter storms in January drove demand for need-based purchases such as snow removal, ice melt, firewood, hot foods and winter automotive products.
  • Warmth in the West: While the East chilled out, the West was warm, driving beverage sales in the off-season.
  • Limited Rainfall: Despite above-normal snow, rainfall was limited, especially in the West.

“January continued an active period of weather as crippling cold and several winter storms impacted major markets in eastern North America. Demand for consumables and seasonal purchases spiked. Many service-based businesses received a boost due to frozen pipes and people staying at home. Early-spring spending could be impacted in the coming months from high utility bills coming due. Out West, the drought provided an entirely different weather challenge to businesses and consumers," said Scott Bernhardt, president of Planalytics.