'Business weather intelligence' provider Planalytics has revealed its forecast for retailers over the coming festive season.
According to the company's analysts, the cold weather we have seen in October and the start of November has led to consumers buying Christmas gifts earlier compared with last year, as the low temperature has already triggered an 'autumn mindset'.
November is set to be colder and drier than last year, which is encouraging for retailers, particularly in sectors like DIY and clothing, as seasonal products will be in high demand.
December will be milder and also drier than last year, according to the company. Last year was an "exceptional month", with a mild start which delayed seasonal shopping, followed by extreme conditions which disrupted trade in the run up to Christmas. The last week of Christmas shopping and also sale shopping in January were severely impacted.
However, this December is set to be much more favourable for footfall traffic, which the company says will also help mitigate lower 'weather driven demand' from the mild start to the month. Footfall maybe affected in Scotland, it adds, which is likely to be much wetter.
Internet and catalogue retailers are also comparing positively to last year, said Planalytics, when they were affected by postal strikes across the country.
Sales for mail order and catalogue retailers suffered during the strikes last year, but then bounced back in the poor weather conditions pre-Christmas as consumers stayed indoors. However, the company forecasts a reverse situation this year, when we should see much more footfall for bricks and mortar retailers as consumers are able to get out and about.