image
image

Blog

TOUGH WEATHER, GREAT CLIMATE

The American consumer powers the engine of our economy, accounting for roughly 70% of Gross Domestic Product each year. Rough weather like the winter that has especially clobbered the eastern part of the US this year meaningfully impacts our economy.

Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services were flat in Feb after falling 0.1 percent in Jan. The so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.

Weather is one thing; climate is another. Weather reflects short-term conditions of the atmosphere while climate is the average daily weather for an extended period of time at a certain location. And the CLIMATE for retail remains robust.

Long-time catalog king LLBean announced plans this week to dramatically grow the base of retail stores from 26 today to “at least 100” by 2020. Why would a traditional cataloger do this? They began with a single store near their headquarters in Freeport, Maine. People liked it. They opened stores in select locations around the country and people flocked to them too.

They are doing what Amazon, Google and so many other non-bricks retailing platforms have come to know: shoppers like the combination of convenience, cost, immediacy, socializing and product engagement only found in-store.