Wintry Weather Continues Into Valentine’s/President’s Day Weekend

Consumers expected to travel less, seek need-based merchandise: Planalytics

Published in CSP Daily News

BERWYN, Pa. -- In the past week alone, snow and ice has impacted travel and traffic across most of the Eastern half of North America. This weekend, wintry weather will continue through the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast.

Consumers who are already weather-weary from recent events will again stock their pantries with canned goods and other consumables, while also looking to prepare for the upcoming Valentine’s Day and President’s Day holiday weekend (February 14 through 17), according to a report from Planalytics.

Specifically for Valentine’s Day, the National Retail Federation expects total spending to reach $17.3 billion, which is a slight increase from last year. While candy, flowers, cards, jewelry and dining out are popular gift-giving items, cold-weather goods will also likely see an increase to help keep loved ones warm, the business weather intelligence firm reported.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day weekend, there is the potential for more wintry weather through the eastern regions of North America. The greatest potential for snow is in the Great Lakes and Northeast, with the highest amounts likely in New England, and a wintry mix stretching from the Plains through the Mid-Atlantic region.

Regardless of the specific amounts, the simple threat of snow and ice in major media outlets will have consumers making need-based purchases for snow-removal items and consumables, while suppressing demand for spring seasonal categories.

Temperatures for most in the Northeast and Great Lakes will also trend colder than normal and colder than last year, helping businesses to sell remaining winter seasonal clearance. Traffic into businesses, including restaurants, may be challenged over the holiday weekend as consumers clean up from the latest storms or have difficulty reaching their destinations.

Elsewhere, Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day weekend looks to trend milder. Out West, after a blast of cold this week, warmer temperatures will return, boosting retail-store traffic and outdoor activities. Precipitation is focused in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, providing some drought relief. The Southern regions can expect warmer readings as well. However, expect heavy precipitation in the Southeast through the week, which will exacerbate flooding concerns.

For reference, Valentine’s Day last year was warmer and slightly drier than normal in the United States, Planalytics reported, and warmer than normal with near normal precipitation in Canada. Presidents’ Day was slightly cooler and drier than normal in the U.S., with below normal snowfall.