It’s the Weather: Quantifying the Impact of Weather on Retail Sales

This paper looks at the relationship between weather and retail sales, as this is key in shaping shopping and consumer behaviour. It quantifies this relationship by analysing the influence of weather on daily retail sales. This paper, and understanding this relationship, is key for retailers as well as other high street stakeholders in charge of retail-oriented decision making. This resource is of special relevance for retailers and high streets in the UK, as weather is characteristically variable.

Date added 21 September 2021
Last updated 21 September 2021

This resource provides a literature review about weather as a factor that influences retail sales. It highlights four ways in which weather can have an effect: 1) by making it uncomfortable for shoppers to go out; 2) by creating conditions that make it physically impossible to visit retail centres; 3) by inducing psychological effects; and 4) by affecting the desirability of certain products.

This resource explores this and quantifies the relationship by using weather data and retail sales data, looking not only at aggregated retail sales but also at sales by products.

Findings suggest that weather impact is greatest in the summer and spring months, that wind and its impact on perceived temperature is the most influential weather condition, that health foods are the product category that appears to be more susceptible to weather, and finally, that high street sales are more weather dependent than out of town stores.

In conclusion, this paper demonstrates that daily weather conditions play an important role when it comes to product category, as well as spatial location of stores.