I'm not a fan of excuses. I screw up, I own it. You screw up, you own it. Retailers seem to constantly play the weather card - it was too cold, too warm, too dry, too wet, too snowy, etc. And that frankly pisses me off. But this weekend, I kind of have to give them the benefit of the doubt, at least those with a concentration of stores on the East Coast.
I had the opportunity to chat with NBC Nightly News today about this weekend's fun, although only about 3.5 of the best seconds from my 15 minutes of tape made it to air. (Not complaining, that's just how TV works. I just find it ironic.) Anyway, a couple of take aways:
* Yes, Christmas will still come on Friday. And yes, kids will still expect to have presents under the tree on Christmas morning, regardless of the weather. Santa, after all, has Rudolph and shouldn't be hindered by inclement weather.
* I don't care how much people shop this week, they'll be under more pressure because they have less time. And given that, expect fewer impulse buys, fewer instances of self-gifting. Put another way, sales might be okay, but not as good as they might have been had the weather been better.
* Companies with smaller presence on the east coast will have done better (all things being equal)than those based heavier in the south or west. That being said, the southern most portion of the country (ala Florida... JT Smith territory) wasn't as affected.
* If you're holding out for 70% discounts... you're either going to end up empty handed or with lime green jumpsuits in size 2. Face the facts, reailers have generally speaking managed their inventories very well this season. Panic was last year. Stupid merchandising, however, is omnipresent if you look hard enough. You can buy it though, I don't want it.