Retailers hoping for a cold weekend for holiday shoppers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 18, 2015) – One week left until Christmas, and retailers are reporting that sales are down. The warmer weather, they say, is to blame.

“I’ve been checking [the weather] every day hoping thinking it’s Christmas,” said Jeff Verwayne, who was out shopping today at Mass Ave Toys. “But it’s like 58, 60 degrees. That doesn’t feel like Christmas to me.”

This holiday shopping season has been unseasonably warm with temperatures in the 50s and 60s in December. As a result, holiday shopping numbers down. Analysts, blame the weather, adding that better weather means shoppers are outside, and not shopping.

“It’s been an extremely warm November and definitely December,” said Kelly Carroll, Director of Client Services at Planalytics, a firm focused on weather and retail data. “That is having a huge impact on what consumers are really putting in their baskets.”

According to Planalytics, weather impacted this November by $185 million less compared to last November. So far this December, the nice weather has meant $158 million less in spending.

And these numbers are showing up across the country, including the Fashion Mall at Keystone.

“The weather’s been really nice so it has kept us out of the mall,” said Hannah Truax who was shopping at the mall today. “So now it got a little chilly so we decided to come in and you know just get our last minute Christmas shopping done.”

The warmer temperatures have also affected sales at smaller, local businesses.

“This is the emptiest I’ve seen the store and I’ve worked here for a number of years,” said Matthew Perry, a supervisor at Mass Ave Toys.

That's why retailers are hoping that this weekend is a cold one.

“In the past we get extremely busy once the cold front hit us,” said Perry.  “And I think that this will be for this Saturday as well.”

Analysts say as temperatures drop 20 to 25 degrees this weekend, that may indeed put shoppers in the shopping mood.

“Maybe if I lived in Florida I’d be excited,” said Verwayne.  “But I live in Indiana and we get seasons. so you know when it’s Christmas I want it to be cold.”

Because it’s the last shopping weekend before Christmas, shoppers could see a drop in prices.  Last minute sales are common in the last shopping weekend before Christmas.

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