The weather is always a hot topic in Britain thanks to its unpredictability. But does the weather effect your buying habits?
Our latest convenience report shows that when the temperature rises, so do sales on the high street. Summertime is a season when we typically spend less time cooking and planning our meals and more time being spontaneous, which means convenience stores such as ours become a key shopping destination.
On a warm day, which of these would you pop out to buy? https://t.co/DsgA1xuYLg
— The Co-op (@coopuk) 10 August 2016
In many ways summer is more significant than Christmas because it is the time of year when our customers react spontaneously yet, rightly, expect us to have what they need for that picnic or BBQ. Steve Murrells, Chief Executive of Retail
We predict that the British economy could be boosted by as much as £290 million a week if another heatwave comes our way, as customers head to the shops for burgers, barbecues and cold beer. For the last 2 summers our sales rose by 10% when then average temperature rose above 20 degrees, indicating that the hotter it gets the more we shop for food and drink.
Supply and demand in the summer
It’s not just the frequency of our visits to the shops that vary when the weather gets warmer, there are also variances in the products we choose to buy. As a convenience retailer we have to ensure we are stocked up with what our customers want whatever the weather.
The mechanics of this are managed by our supply chain team who plan early on with in-depth research into shopping habits and detailed weather forecasts drilled down to postcode levels, so the right stores get the right stock.
A 10 degree rise in the temperature can see a 300% increase in the sales of BBQ meats and 50% of coleslaw.
However, all the planning in the world can never anticipate the British summer fully, so daily calls to depots, thrice weekly planning meetings and weekly store communications enable the team to react quickly and get the right products on the shelves so customers aren’t disappointed.