With flood warnings and severe snow fall, it is unsurprising that companies lament the bad weather and their plunging profits. In a country where cold weather is reigning champion over the skies, we are unsuitably ill-prepared half of the time. Quite frankly, who wants to shovel their car out of its snow-built cavern and drive to the store, or don wellingtons in efforts to wade through rising water?I, for one, would rather wrap myself up in a blanket than brave the wind that has threatened to break my umbrella on more than one occasion – a way of thinking that has surely cost many businesses. Companies are being beaten by a bratty temperature tantrum which refuses to let up and let us go on our merry way without three layers of clothes or constant train delays. Instead of hibernating, however, some businesses liven up in winter, more so now that the winter climate seems to have been extended. These six companies certainly didn’t have their profits washed out by the weather.
1. BootsRunny nose? Slight temperature? Cold weather can wreck havoc to your body – I find my train ride home mostly accompanied with the melodious sound of sniffs and noses being blown. With money tight, however, no one wants to stay at home because we are lead to believe that the more you work, the more stable your workplace. So we stock up on pocket tissues and cold and flu tablets at Boots to see us through the day.
2. British GasThe first thing most probably do upon entering the cool premises of your home after a hard day’s work is turn the heating on. Households have been forced to turn up their heating as the freezing weather continues, pushing the demand for gas to 20 per cent higher than normal in March. A recent announcement by British Gas claimed that despite its fall in customer accounts, the colder-than-normal weather saw gas use leap up 12 per cent.
3. John LewisThe unpredictable cold weather has sent shoppers to the mall in search of warm weather apparel, tempted into heated stores in search of sale-priced or clearance merchandise as retailers unload their winter and holiday stock and clear their shelves in preparation for spring. Department store John Lewis reported a 17 per cent boost in sales last week as half-term and cold weather drove shoppers in store for gloves, stockings, and jackets.
5. ThomsonAlthough the UK normally has an exceptional holiday appeal, the weather this year has been setting records for all the wrong reasons. So, it comes to no surprise that Britons are flocking online for last-minute sunshine breaks abroad in search of more reliable weather and higher temperatures. Tour operator Thomson reports a 20 per cent increase in holiday searches each winter – I imagine the percentage has increased since then.
6. WaitroseThe grocer experienced a growth in sales thanks to the chilly weather, enjoying a 9.4 per cent sales rise to £110.5m through “winter warming” goods. Soup was among the top-performing categories, and the upmarket grocer sold 25 per cent more pairs of tights and 38 per cent more pairs of socks. By Shané Schutte
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