Hurricane Matthew, the biggest storm to threaten the Atlantic Coast, that hit Haiti hard last week crept up to a few U.S. states this past weekend, especially southern Florida in Miami and much of South and North Carolina. As I was shopping on Saturday in NYC, I didn’t think the storm had any affect on us here and the little rain we received was surprising compared to how much Boston received. My friends in Miami and South Carolina seemed perfectly fine weathering the brutal storm, but most of the retail stores closed Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday.
I found it interesting how badly the storm has really affected major retail locations, even though it is a temporary thing, it can have a major affect in the long run. With tourist spots down south, most stores are suffering from huge losses in sails at retail locations. Retail stores in North Carolina faced the biggest setback in terms of retail shoppers this weekend for Columbus Day. Most tourists wouldn’t leave their homes and stayed indoors to avoid the heavy downpour and flooding.
According to the WWD article, “Retail Avoids the Worst of Matthew“: The ultimate economic impact of the storm will be determined by just how quickly the region gets back up and running. Business lost to disruptions that last a day or two can been quickly recouped, while events that bring economic activity to a halt for weeks create permanent losses.
Sales are expected to bounce back after the storm dies down, but because of Brexit, the Zika virus, and now Matthew, the retails stores down south will have a hard time recovering from these huge setbacks. I wouldn’t be surprised that most boutiques close down, as reports show more online shopping and more traffic to department stores like Walmart, Bloomingdale’s and Target. The smaller stores were hit the hardest because they didn’t have as many resources to prepare and safeguard their walls from the store. So many stores fell apart. The good thing is we are getting better with technology and can better predict these types of natural disasters in future.
Happy shopping and happy Monday!