Hurricane Sandy – Online Retailers Using Storm to Drive Sales

Urban Outfitters sent this advertisement in an email, promoting their offer for free shipping today.

As Hurricane Sandy is quickly approaching New York City, estimates of the storm’s extensive damage and economic impact appear far-reaching. In fact, according to a Bloomberg article, the storm may cause approximately $20 billion in economic damage. The article even predicts that US GDP will drop up to two percentage points in the fourth quarter.

While economic impact predictions appear bleak, there are some sectors of the economy that may do surprisingly well while the storm persists. The online retail sector is expecting to generate much profit due to the storm.

According to a MarketWatch article, stores selling products online typically see large sales during severe weather circumstances: “Experts say there’s typically a surge in online traffic during days when people are forced to stay home due to a snowstorm or other extreme weather event.”

Just a mere few hours ago, I received an email from popular clothing retailer, Urban Outfitters, announcing that anyone purchasing items online today would receive free shipping. However, this offer is only valid for one day—the day most people are at home waiting for Sandy to arrive.

Urban outfitters is just one of many retailers that seem to be heavily promoting new products and special sales on their website today.

Although online retailers expect to see sharp rises in sales due to the amount of people home today and willing to shop, if power outages do occur, retailers may not be so lucky.


About Jessica Summers

My name is Jessica Summers. I graduated as valedictorian from Marymount Manhattan College in 2012 with a B.A. in Communications and minors in Journalism and Political Science. During college, I spent a summer abroad studying at Oxford University and also held internships at CNN International, CNBC Business News, and WABC-TV, among other news organizations and media outlets. I am currently a graduate student at New York University’s Business and Economic Reporting program. I am an aspiring broadcast journalist, especially interested in covering the world of business and finance.
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