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Consumers Give Retailers the Cold Shoulder as Hard Weather Hits

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truck stuck in snow
Digging out on our doorstep at Capacity LLC in New Jersey

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.

Flower delivery delays Valentine's Day

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!