At Least This Heat Has Been Great for Retail

By
Hollister. Photo: Courtesy of Hollister

The Hollister store may have recently closed to treat a massive bedbug problem, but foot traffic was strong in the store on Saturday when it reopened. Because apparently the only thing worse than bedbugs is this awful heat wave, which sent customers — many of whom may have been unaware of the bedbug threat — into the cool breezes of air conditioning wafting from the vents, where bedbugs may still be crawling. (Hollister says the bugs are gone, but experts still strongly suggest caution while shopping there.) It begs an important question: Is the heat really worse than the possibility of catching bedbugs? Perhaps the steamy, record-breaking weather is preventing New York and its tourists from thinking clearly.

Over the weekend, businesses in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. experienced double-digit increases of seasonal purchases compared to the coldest 2009 period in a decade, according to Planalytics, which analyzes and publishes the weather’s impact on retail. While consumers on the West Coast were still waiting for summer to start and holding off on seasonal purchases, other shoppers were able to think about fall wardrobes and even boots — despite the heat.

They are not only risking bringing pet bedbugs home, but they are thinking about and trying on clothes that make them even warmer. What else is going on? In between stores do they plop down on a bench — in the sun — with a nice hot cup of soup? This heat is probably bad enough to make people that downright crazy.

Hot Times at Retail: Soaring Temps Drive Consumers to Stores [WWD]