The fatal combination of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures have cost the retail and aviation industries many millions of pounds during one of the most crucial weekends of the retail year.
Black Friday, usually the busiest shopping day of the year, unfortunately saw some of the heaviest snow we’ve seen yet. The UK has grinded to a halt as a result, and the loss in revenue is sure to hit the high street hard.
Alexon, a women’s fashion group, were the first retailer to issue a profit warning which blamed the extreme weather conditions on their loss in revenue. Alexon claims that the weather had forced many of their brands, such as Ann Harvey, to close shops in a bid to deter its older customers from venturing out.
It is very unlikely that Alexon is the only retailer to have seen their profits hit badly by the snow. Profit warnings from big retail chains are expected to follow before Christmas.
Figures released yesterday by Synovate Retail Performance show that the number of people out shopping in stores across the UK fell by 8.8pc. Figures do not include supermarkets, which are not expected to be hit as hard as high street stores.
In the aviation industry, the snow is thought to have cost British Airways a £40m loss in profit. BA has nearly 600 flights operating in and out of Heathrow airport each day, but because of the weather conditions, flights have been reduced to nearly a third of its regular schedule over the last four days.