Over the course of the day yesterday, WeatherOptics’s highly sensitive forecasting systems began to show increasing probability of a Northeast blizzard this weekend.  With this early warning, today’s Insight Flash demonstrates how to use CE’s unique set of weather impact tools to assess which companies will see the biggest impact to their sales in the Boston area and nationwide.

Looking at the brands whose sales are most heavily indexed to the Boston area, which is extremely likely to be one of the hardest hit this weekend, discretionary retailer Marshalls stands out as having the largest impact, with a -60% sales decline due to weather over the two-day weekend.  The brand is expected to lose almost all of its sales when the blizzard hits on Saturday, with an additional -10% decline the day after as roads remain icy.  Grocers such as Stop & Shop and Star Market as well as club stores like BJ’s are also expected to lose more than half of their sales over the weekend due to weather.  Entertainment brands like Spotify may expect to see a small lift of 6% due to the storm and Uber may see a lift of 5% as mass transit closes and walking on unshoveled sidewalks is hazardous. 

Discovering Impacted Brands

Note:  Forecast impact for each brand in Boston CSA 1/29-1/30

Of course, while many stores will be closed during a storm, many also see stock-up in the days leading up to a blizzard.  Specifically, grocers such as Stop & Shop are forecast to see a 17.4% lift the day before the storm, and club stores like BJ’s could see a smaller stock up starting as early as three days prior. 

Consumables Storm Impact Trajectory

Note:  Forecast impact for each brand in Boston CSA 1/29-1/30

Although CE is able to drill down to forecast weather impacts in a region as small as the Boston CSA, the impact becomes more important on the national level.  This weekend’s blizzard is expected to hit the entire Northeast, with negative sales impacts for a chain like Marshalls ranging from North Carolina to Maine.  Although the South and West Coast are forecast to see positive weather impacts, the importance of the Northeast is expected to drive a -18.4% national decline in sales on Saturday, and a -0.8% decline on Sunday.  This is as the company laps negative national weather impacts from Saturday and Sunday last year.

Marshalls National Impact from Northeast Storm

Note: 1/29-1/30