Athletic apparel sales decelerated last week, however, taking hurricane Irene into account there was little change. That said, the facts are the facts and the sales disruption due to Irene’s visit very real. Moreover, next week will reflect the bulk of Irene’s impact giving us further clarity regarding the disruption. As a result, we fully expect storm related commentary to be the callout du jour from retailers tomorrow as they explain sales trends.
In an effort to quantify the storm’s impact on Saturday and Sunday sales when consumers were either hunkered down or redirected in their purchasing, we created the following sensitivity analysis below, which suggests a 40bps-to-220bps impact on the week. Our calculation assumes equally-weighted sales per day based on weekly sales dollars and was then adjusted to reflect the roughly 25%-30% of sales effected by the storm nationwide.
The takeaway here is that based on athletic apparel sales through Sunday, Irene appears to have had a 10bps-60bps impact on monthly August sales. Assuming more significant disruptions both Monday and Tuesday of -25%+, we expect many Softline and Broadline retailers to highlight a 2-3 point hit to August comps as a result of the storm.