Thursday, February 11, 2010

More Snow Economics

It's a beautiful day outside and I would say we definitely could have held school today, no big deal. Maybe we would have needed a delayed start, but canceling classes altogether was a mistake. We're going to have to work harder down the road to make it up.

What about other businesses? Are they really hard hit by this week's snow? I would say some yes, some no. The key is whether customers will do extra business later to make up for this week's loss.

The little luncheonette in my school building will definitely suffer. It's lost a week's sales and people aren't going to be buying extra lunch next week to make up for it. On the other hand, grocery stores did extra business ahead of the storm and will do extra business afterwards. In fact, probably groceries get a net plus because more people stayed home and cooked instead of eating in restaurants. And I would think durable goods sales would hardly be affected at all. If you were in the market for a couch, you didn't buy one this week, but you're not any less in the market for it as a result.

So sellers of something that you either use immediately or go without are hurt. But sellers of lots of kinds of goods and services will be fine, I would imagine -- they'll have a slack week but get extra business next week.