The harsh chill of this year’s winter left many areas battling heavy snow loads and icy road conditions while those home-bound by the weather dreamed of the spring and summer days ahead after the thaw. Waning winter brought a boost to retail sales, according to the National Retail Federation, which noted a 6.2 percent increase in March year-over-year for stores selling backyard products.
“Improving economic conditions and consumer confidence should push consumers to return to spending habits this spring,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Consumers released some pent-up demand in March after two consecutive months of harsh winter weather that not only hampered employment opportunities but also retail sales. We remain optimistic that retail sales will continue their positive march this spring.”
Now, with the snow melt in full swing, retailers are hearing from their customers that they’re more eager than ever to be out enjoying the warm weather.
And that equals sales on lifestyle products for their backyards.
So what items should a savvy retailer stock to increase their bottom line and entice sales from the customers emerging from hibernation who want to make the most of their backyard experiences before fall descends?
The easy answer is whatever adds enjoyment to the space. That could mean new toys and floats for the pool, or spa accessories like games and scents. Ancillary barbecue items could prove more popular than in years past, plus customers could need to replace outdoor items that were damaged from the unusually severe season, like patio furniture or their furniture covers.