Almost half of UK retailers place the local weather forecast in the top three external factors driving consumer demand, according to a report by the UK Met Office.
The new research revealed that while 47 per cent believed that weather is a key factor of demand, 32 per cent don't use weather data in their supply chain and 17 per cent rely on free weather-data services.
The study, Role of Weather in the Supply Chain, found that 62 per cent of UK retailers improved customer service by using paid-for commercial weather services, while others also improved sales forecasts, availability and waste management.
Barbara Napiorkowska-Dickson, Met Office retail business manager, said that the unpredictable nature of UK weather creates a challenge for retail managers to ensure appropriate stock is in at different weather situations.
"If they miscalculate this, retailers risk losing millions through incorrect stock levels and disappointed customers. It can also impact the costs and efficiencies of the whole supply chain,” she said.
Over 200 senior managers across 80 companies contributed to the research, which examined the current and future use of weather data in the retail supply chain.
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