Weather is key driver of retail demand – Met Office report

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Almost half of retailers and suppliers (47 per cent) rank the weather in the top three factors external to their business that drive consumer demand, research by the Met Office has revealed.

However, 32 per cent do not use any weather data within their supply chain and 17 per cent rely on free weather data services.

Among those using paid-for commercial weather services, 62 per cent said they are able to offer better customer service, 57 per cent highlighted better sales forecast accuracy, 51 per cent had better on-shelf availability and 43 per cent had reduced waste.

The report also found that two-thirds (67 per cent) of retailers think forecasting consumer demand has become harder, although there is a clear desire from supply chains to use weather forecasts more broadly within their businesses, particularly to drive commercial benefits – for example through forecasting footfall and online traffic, and planning marketing campaigns.

“The UK’s changeable weather means that it can have a significant impact on retail performance and retailers’ abilities to meet customer demands – for example ensuring they stock the right products for both good and adverse weather,” said Barbara Napiorkowska-Dickson, Met Office retail business manager.

“If they miscalculate this, retailers risk losing millions through incorrect stock levels and disappointed customers. It can also impact the costs and efficiencies of the whole supply chain.”

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