Why Retailers See Declined Sales During the Summer

Individual businesses will experience different highs and lows in terms of sales depending on the specific industry and the season. The spring and summer months are often deemed to be the slowest time of year in terms of sales statistics for retail businesses. While this drop in sales is not true for all businesses, many types of retail stores often indeed see a drop in customer traffic through their stores once temperatures rise.

Why Retailers May See Declined Sales During the Summer

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What are some reasons some retailers see declined sales during the summer?

Nice Weather

After the cold winter season has passed, many people simply are experiencing cabin fever and have no desire to be indoors after being cooped up all winter. Who wants to spend their time indoors? That being the case, malls, department stores and other indoor commercial establishments may temporarily lose appeal and, as a result, see a significant drop in traffic. 

In warm weather, people may be instead inclined to look for flea markets, spring cleaning sales, or other types of neighborhood sales. Or they simply may engage in other outdoor activities to enjoy the warmer temperatures. During the ‘spring fever’ months, people tend to put shopping on the back burner in favor of the beautiful weather.

Holiday Season is Over

For most, the height of retail shopping comes with the demand for consumer products which are purchased as gifts for holidays. Once the holidays have passed and the clearance sales from the holidays are finished, the retail stores are likely to experience a drop and as a result business seems slow once the hustle and bustle of shopping is over for the season. As summer kicks in, many people simply memories of shopping aside until the fall comes around again. 

Compensation for Lost Sales

Traditionally, once “Black Friday” arrives the day after December, sales significantly pick up, although it seems every year retailers are trying to push the shopping season back earlier in the year to get the ball rolling before Thanksgiving. It is not uncommon to see stores putting out Christmas merchandise as early as September, before fall even kicks in. This is likely done as an attempt to make up for some of the business lost during the warmer months. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Not Everyone is Slow in Warm Weather

Some businesses actually pick up once the frost is gone and temperatures rise. Any kind of service business, particularly home improvement or landscaping, may see a sharp increase.  Other businesses that may pick up relate to the tourism industry. Restaurants can go either way, their location probably plays a lot into the type of traffic they receive in the summer months.

Overall, when considering the types of businesses that experience a decline in sales during the spring and summer, for the most part these are likely to be retail stores. The good news for these merchants is that before they know it the cooler temperatures will be returning and their shops full of customers once more. Or, alternatively, savvy businesses can instead jump on potential opportunities as the time provided by slower business permits.


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