November 26, 2020

Why Hurricane Harvey Is a ‘Double Whammy’ for Texas Retail

With a heavy blast of devastating rain and flooding, Category 4 storm Hurricane Harvey pummeled through some of Texas’ most populous cities leaving in its wake destruction and chaos.
While the safety of residents is inarguably a top priority in the near term, retail experts say that there could be some negative long-term consequences for businesses in the area. And, for fashion retail — which has been wading through a rough patch for nearly two years — the impact could be even more detrimental.
“This comes as a double whammy,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst with The NPD Group. “In some parts of Texas, there is already a pullback from the Hispanic consumer [which has affected] some of the retailers that rely heavily on that customer base — that’s been a political issue for a couple months now. But, now you’ve got to add in the fact that there is this new environmental issue [which is] totally changing the focus of spending.”
For footwear-and-apparel retailers, the end of August and early September marks a critical time in the back-to-school shopping period. Cohen said many families have been purchasing stationery and other school supplies earlier in the summer — leaving the fashion items

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