Badorf, Florian and Kai Hoberg

The impact of daily weather on retail sales: an empirical study in brick-and-mortar stores

Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, (In press).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.101921

Abstract: In this study, we examine the influence of weather on daily sales in brick-and-mortar retailing using empirical data for 673 stores. We develop a random coefficient model that considers non-linear effects and seasonal differences using different weather parameters. In the ex-post analysis using historic weather data, we quantify the explanatory power of weather information on daily sales, identify store-specific effects and analyze the influence of specific sales themes. We find that the weather has generally a complex effect on daily sales while the magnitude and the direction of the weather effect depend on the store location and the sales theme. The effect on daily sales can be as high as 23.1% based on the store location and as high as 40.7% based on the sales theme. We also find that the impact of extreme bad and good weather occurrences can be misestimated by traditional models that do not consider non-linear effects. In the ex-ante analysis, we analyze if weather forecasts can be used to improve the daily sales forecast. We show that including weather forecast information improves sales forecast accuracy up to seven days ahead. However, the improvement of the forecast accuracy diminishes with a higher forecast horizon. 

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