The Outdoor Gear Industry Surges by $245 Million Because of a Gust of Wind

Retail is a highly reactive market. It sways and shifts according to many variables; current events (bet there’s been a surge in pantsuit sales since Hillary ran for President), customer’s feelings towards social responsibility, and pop culture trends, to name a few. Right now in the Sports & Outdoor industry, we’re seeing a significant market shift because of one variable none of us can control – the weather.

Mother Nature has long affected how retailers stock stores or brands release products, sometimes even on a daily basis. Grocery stores carry extra water jugs before expected blizzards because they know shoppers will be stockpiling the essentials right before the storm hits. In the Sports & Outdoors industry, you’re lucky to be fairly safe from daily surges or loss of sales… except for knowing that you’ll have plenty of foot traffic when it’s sunny. Or that mittens are going to fly off the shelves on the first really frigid day.

Weather patterns also affect the market monthly. “Last year… the El Niño-pattern induced warm weather and spurred a $421 million loss in sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 19 for winter apparel retailers” Planalytics reported.

But this year is expected to be an especially cold winter. And with this weather prediction comes another startling forecast: the gust of cold air will result in a nearly $245 million year-to-year surge of outdoor wear sales.

The additional cash flow is expected to hit stores in the first half of December, in perfect correlation with a cold front making its way from the west coast to the east.

The sporting goods and apparel industry is especially vulnerable to seasonal product sales – we even wrote an article about how seasonal companies survive their off-season. The weather channel will be your best friend! Early spring? You have to be prepared in advance to stock your swimsuits, jogging shorts or bike gear. Cooler fall? Get those mittens on shelves by September.

To further weather-proof your business, download this deep-dive into the subject from Planalytics.