Up and down the East Coast last week, businesses were busy preparing for the arrival of winter storm Jonas. Readying shovels and plows, we all watched the weather forecasts closely and prepared to do some digging.
It’s a familiar feeling here at Capacity. Around the same time last year, we had to handle Octavia, followed by the ominously-named (and eventually underwhelming) Thor.
Another storm has swept through the southern states and is currently impacting the East coast. Much as Octavia did two weeks ago, Thor came in the night and left commuters and delivery companies alike to deal with its mess.
Reaching for the shovels again, we’ve marched outside to look Thor square in the eye (of the storm) and tell him in no uncertain terms, “we’re open!”
The snow has forced many companies to call off operations for the day, however, as winter advisory warnings go up around the Northeast and New Jersey has declared a state of emergency. Capacity is up and running despite this latest dump of the white stuff, while carriers are shutting down in some areas, struggling to stay on top of the deluge.
UPS issued the following bulletin to make customers aware that scheduled deliveries will be disrupted:
Severe weather in Louisville, KY caused a significant disruption to operations at Worldport®, UPS’s main hub in the United States. As a result, some shipments may experience unavoidable delays.
UPS is working to move shipments to their final destinations as quickly as possible.
One bright spot of this particular storm is that some believe it’s the last one for this winter. Whether or not you believe the weather men and women, two things are for sure: the clocks go forward for spring this weekend and the seasons officially change in two weeks time.
We’re no softies when it comes to snow, but everyone will be cracking a smile as the sun starts to shine again and temperatures rise to melt all this white stuff. Until then, keep on truckin’!
Hunkered down (presumably you’re already over that phrase for the year, right?) for the inevitable snow day, it seems like the ideal time to show off some of our shots from last week’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show.
Continuing where we left off yesterday, the inability to provide Valentine’s Day flower deliveries snowballed into quite a media storm over the last 24 hours. And as the big day dawns, opinions seem to be varied as to just how well florists will be able to meet delivery demand today.
Over at CNN’s Fortune, the impact of snowstorm Pax is thought to be limited because the flowers have already arrived in the country and been cut, ready to order. Everyone knew that the storm was coming and most have made alternative delivery arrangements, whether before or at some point over the hastily adjusted “Valentine’s Weekend.” The adverse weather is a mere inconvenience at this point, they suggest.
The Washington Post, however, sees a much more difficult day ahead for florists desperate to make the most of the biggest day for their business. Their report tells of owners desperately making deliveries themselves, seeing every one as an opportunity to offset some of the inevitable lost sales.
Online orders also seem to be a mixed bag… bouquet.
Proflowers is sticking to the message that we reported yesterday, accepting no new delivery orders because of the storm. But main rival 1-800 Flowers seems to be sticking to business-as-usual, with Valentine’s Day delivery orders being accepted up to noon in each time zone.
And amid all of this weather confusion in the East, it’s perhaps comforting to know that the discussion on the West coast sticks to a good old-fashioned moan about exploitative Valentine’s pricing.
The truth will out over the next 12 hours or so as to just how much impact the snow has on flower deliveries. If you’re looking for a last-minute bouquet for your sweetheart on the East coast, though, we’d suggest getting a shovel and digging on over to your nearest store. Nothing says I love you like a five-hour trip to the florist!
U.S. retailers didn’t get any respite from a tough holiday season in January, as cold weather further deterred consumers, already low on confidence, from getting out of the house and into the stores.
The first month of the year can be a tough sell for shopping at the best of times, following the excesses of the holiday season and the belt-tightening resolutions that often accompany a New Year.
Even so, some retailers are reporting sales figures “significantly lower than expected,” as storm after storm batters the country and keeps consumers focused on only the essentials.
For a limited number of companies, like Costco or Walmart, bad weather can boost sales. People like to stock up before a storm and big box stores tend to be the most efficient way to do so. But for the wider retail environment snow means a slump, with travel either inadvisable or simply impossible.
And if you’re thinking that e-commerce is the answer around all of this disruption to bricks and mortar sales, think again.
Although the first part of the transaction can be completed online, the weather has been so bad that disruption to standard delivery services will also deter people from purchasing online. The general expectation that shipments won’t make it through in the current conditions is backed up by the likes of eBay issuing weather warnings.
Even Cupid can’t commit to his arrows hitting home, as flower delivery services admit defeat and take no new orders in some areas, at this their busiest time of year. This hard weather is also going to be hard on the heart.
As hard as the adverse weather is hitting our region, though, at Capacity we’re committed to keep on truckin’. When in doubt, grab a shovel, get digging, and get those shipments out on time!