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Coming Cold Surge Could Mean Boon for Pre-Black Friday Seasonal Sales

Mother Nature may be gifting seasonal merchandise sellers with the cold weather they’ve been conjuring—starting Saturday, the Midwest and Deep South will see colder than normal conditions.

According to weather analytics company Planalytics, Chicago, Minneapolis and Cincinnati will experience freezing temperatures and the cold air will move east on Sunday. The lower temps may increase the potential for storms, which could spell more wintry weather for some.

The cold comes just as consumers are planning their Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping strategies and could provide what Planalytics considers a “strong opportunity” for seasonal purchasing after a warmer fall.

Retailers that stock cold-weather wear blamed the unseasonably warm temperatures for slow sales growth in October. According to Commerce Department data, retail sales were up 1.7% to $447.3 billion compared to September’s 2.4% gain.

“With many Midwestern markets expecting their coldest temperatures this season, consumers will look to add items such as sweaters, outerwear and winter accessories to their baskets. The cold will launch consumers into a winter mindset just days before the biggest shopping weekend of the year,” Planalytics said. “Out West, look for warmer temperatures to limit seasonal purchasing, although drier conditions will support foot traffic.”

Weather data from Planalytics.
Weather data from Planalytics.