Shoppers gearing up for bitter cold weather

Frigid temperatures are forecast for the next few days after relatively calm Black Friday weekend weather, and consumers are expected to shop accordingly.

"What we've found, and what we were expecting, really, was Black Friday was going to start off very, very cold, very dry, so traffic conditions were good, but much, much colder than last year," said Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel.

Because of the cold this Black Friday weekend versus the warmer-than-normal temperatures a year ago, shoppers reported buying heavy outerwear 125 percent more over this past Black Friday weekend versus Black Friday weekend last year, and slightly more home heating equipment, coffee, tea, soups and stews, according to The Weather Channel, which polled users on its website.

"Those product categories did pretty well and those sectors did pretty well, but at the expense of things like electronics and other types of gifts," Walsh noted.

And he expects that cold weather and winter storms will continue to drive sales of winter items.

"The net demand for seasonal items is much higher this year, so I think that's going to continue to benefit department stores … as well as specialty apparel retailers and to a certain extent mass" retailers, Walsh told "Big Data Download."

--By Althea Chang

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