Planalytics anticipates a big rainstorm will move through Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta this weekend, with the possibility for snow flurries in New York City on Sunday. Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Company, added that western Washington and Oregon will be hit with rain and wind, but "shoppers there are pretty resilient to rain."
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The Weather Company, like CNBC, is a unit of NBCUniversal.
"Despite some of the hype you've been hearing I think it's [overall] good news," Bernhardt said.
Retail experts have been keeping a close eye on the forecast for the final weekend before Christmas, which is expected to be one of the busiest periods of the holiday shopping season. ShopperTrak is particularly bullish on Super Saturday, predicting that for the first time in 10 years, it will be the biggest sales day of the year. The analytics firm expects that Super Saturday alone will rake in $10 billion.
The final weekend before Christmas is typically one of the busiest of the year for physical stores because by that point, many retailers' standard shipping deadlines for online orders have already passed. That means if consumers want their items in time for Christmas, they need to leave the house to get them.
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Though the looming Christmas deadline typically provides enough impetus to force last-minute shoppers to battle the elements, having a severe winter storm in those final days can heavily weigh on retailers' sales, Bernhardt said. If consumers are killing themselves just to get to the mall, he said, they're not interested in sticking around and buying things for themselves, or making additional trips later on that weekend.
"Some of the purchases come back; a lot of them do not," he said. "The real question is what people are not buying."