The Snowstorm May Have Cost Retailers $1 Billion in Anticipated Post-Christmas Sales

Not shopping.

Just when retailers had good reason to believe that their line of business was not entirely doomed and that the American population still does, in fact, have an insatiable hunger for buying jeggings and ugly Christmas sweaters and everything else that people snapped up this holiday season, the Christmas Tsnownami came and dashed their hopes. According to market researcher ShopperTrak, this blizzard not only trapped thousands of people in airports, subways, and small spaces with family members who drive them nuts, but it also may have robbed an estimated $1 billion in post-holiday sales from retailers across the Eastern seaboard. In fact, a $1 billion loss is their "conservative appraisal," according to WWD.

“As expected, the 2010 blizzard throughout the Northeast halted nearly all retail visits and spending during a period that is fairly crucial for retailers,” said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak’s co-founder. “And at this point, the prospect of momentarily pausing a potential $1 billion in sales has the collective industry holding its breath.”

Preliminary estimates for sales on December 26 and 27 were around $10 billion, and researchers believe that the storm took an 11.2 percent chunk out of shopping traffic on Sunday and 38.6 percent on Monday. Of course, the overall loss is still yet to be seen, since a lot of people will just shop more this weekend to make up for their stir-craziness.

Storm's Two-Day Toll Could be $1B [WWD]