How Businesses Weather the Weather

As we gear up for a solid week of rain, some tips for how local businesses in 02129 can make a go of it -- and how local shoppers can help out.

Maybe you have noticed lately that us New Englanders seem to be getting a big dose of rain! It is reminiscent of May and June 2009 – 25 days of straight rain. The weather forecast predicts 10 days of straight rain starting on Sunday. For retailers, bad weather = less money, fewer transactions and less volume. Following an incredibly long and hard winter, this is bad news.

We all know it is not fun to load the kids in the car, find a parking spot and dash into places during torrential rain storms! However, all the businesses and restaurants in Charlestown need our residents to do just that over the next two weeks. Some of us are going to offer rainy day specials. Some of us will discount a popular line to garner interest. Some of us will promote online specials. All of us business owners will do what we can to give the public a break – if they will be conscious about supporting us in 02129.

Retail author Martha Starr-McCluer says “Using monthly data on retail sales and weather data from the National Weather Service, I find that unusual weather has a modest but significant role in explaining monthly sales fluctuations."

And from Michael P. Niemira in “Weather Matters:"

  • Weather can cause shifts in the timing of purchases.
  • Weather can cause purchases that might not otherwise occur, or weather can cause a permanent loss of demand.
  • Weather can be responsible for lost or increased production—especially in agriculture, construction and energy areas.
  • Weather is one cause of seasonality, and the seasonal cycle is intertwined with the dynamic of the business cycle.
  • To the extent that longer-run weather patterns persist, those influences could result in a non-neutral, longer-run impact on the business cycle.

Here are a few  tips for business owners and consumers to get us through in 02129:

  • As a business owner, make it easy to park! At Olivia Browning, we offer $2.00 towards parking at the Marriott on bad weather days if you buy something and show us your parking stub. Ask the business or store what they will do for you. None of us want to lose a sale because you could not get close enough!
  • Business owners should be willing to run something out to a customer in the car! Consumers – call ahead if you know what you want and we can (and most retailers will) run right out to your car!
  • Utilize delivery. Maybe you do not want to get the kids in the car – have it delivered!  Most all of the restaurants have delivery – or you could schedule a pick-up with Task Rabbit. Ask the sales associate if delivery is an option. Olivia Browning delivers for free in 02129 – and many other establishments would to get the sale!
  • Take advantage of the breaks in rain. Get out and walk! Go to the supermarket, pick up the birthday gift, get a haircut, buy some flowers to cheer you up! 

In the end, the most any of us business owners can ask of the public is to remember your local merchants and restaurants when the weather is bad. We buy products for you and based on demand -- we want to keep you happy in sunshine and rain. We all need your business and deeply appreciate your support for 02129 establishment.

Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not.” -- Unknown


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