Hurricane Dorian to Cost Retailers $1.5B; Threatens Back to School Sales

Retailers in the southeast can expect Hurricane Dorian to threaten the typical boosts they see from shoppers on the tails of Labor Day weekend and the back to school season.

Instead, that spending will go to grocery store chains and home improvement centers like Lowe’s and Home Depot as consumers stock up on necessities. Mass merchants like Target and Walmart will also see a boost, especially because consumers might turn to their recently rolled out same-day or next-day delivery services to purchase goods.

“Home centers are going to be on the front end of that surge of sales and groceries as well. But when you start talking about department stores, specialty apparel, and basically non-need items, that business goes away,” said Paul Walsh, director of consumer weather strategy at IBM. “That business moves to the other channels, so there’s a big disparity in terms of who gets the business.”

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Consumer spending is expected to decline as much as $1.5 billion, according to data analytics firm Planalytics. That factors in the… CNBC News

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