How Hurricane Irene is Affecting Business—Some are Helped, Some are Not

With all the talk of Hurricane Irene, I was just thinking about how the hurricane was going to affect businesses, particularly small businesses. And then I came across this article in Ad Age.

The reason I was thinking about this topic is because I just visited my brother’s new ice cream shop in Howell NJ, Shivers Ice Cream. The hurricane is more than likely going to make this quite a slow weekend for them. They do not expect to see a steady stream of customers braving the weather just to get some ice cream. And Shivers was scrambling to find a generator to protect themselves from a power outage and losing all the ice cream, ice cream cakes and already prepared items like the ice cream cupcakes and sandwiches that they have in their freezers.

Then I saw the Ad Age article about the retailers like Walmart, Lowe’s and Home Depot, who were doing a brisk business from North Carolina to New Jersey as a result of a deluge of purchases of hurricane-readiness products. I know Shivers was having a difficult time finding a generator but finally found one. They even called Lowe’s at 5:00am because a new shipment of 200 generators was expected to arrive, and they were sold out within 10 minutes! That’s definitely doing a brisk business.

Unfortunately for businesses like restaurants, clothing stores and summer-related businesses, the loss of business this weekend is going to make quite a dent in their numbers. Up and down the east coast was supposed to be many, many residents and vacationers enjoying their last two weekends of summer beach weather. Now one of those weekends is gone, due to Irene. And this is business you can’t really make up—high season is high season and nothing will change that. The opportunity is lost.

Some retail businesses that were counting on 2 weeks of “back-to-school” sales will probably be able to recoup some or most of that business—kids are going back to school regardless and the supplies need to be purchases, whether it happens this week or next week. But it still makes for a difficult weekend of conducting business.

I found the article interesting for a couple of reasons:

  • The various measures taken by businesses, in the position to provide products for emergency hurricane needs, to be sure they would be able to be fully stocked
  • The content they created to guide customers through to survival of the hurricane
  • The use of multiple communications methods, such as Twitter, blogs and press releases

I would venture a guess these businesses were well prepared because they probably included activities like these in their marketing plans.

Read the article from Ad Age:
Which Retailers Will Hurricane Irene Help, and Which Will It Hurt?

Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Phone: 480-661-0292


About Anna Brice, Pinnacle Peak Marketing

I am an Independent Marketing Services Provider and Principal of Pinnacle Peak Marketing. Pinnacle Peak Marketing provides companies, small and large, the opportunity to utilize a reliable outsource marketing resource and take advantage of the flexibility of the full menu of marketing services we provide. Clients can pick and choose the precise services they require and only contract for those specific services. This is what I refer to as On-Demand Marketing Services. Our work includes long and short-term projects or can be done on an hourly, retainer or project-by-project basis. I am a marketing professional with 13 years experience in the travel industry and 11 years in marketing. My past experience includes marketing management roles at Sony Electronics, Fujifilm and I have worked in every level of marketing and the experience at each level has served me well. I continue to learn and in marketing today, the changes are so swift and dramatic, that one must continue to learn in order to survive and thrive. I work with a group of professionals and we work together and separately and are able to provide a wealth of knowledge and resources as a combined group. My husband, Ed and I also have two vacation rentals in Scottsdale and one vacation rental home in Edgartown- Katama in Martha’s Vineyard. We rent these properties through our company, BREO Vacation Rentals ( It is great fun and we have been very lucky with great renters. We have had only one bad experience, so we really can’t complain. We have been very lucky to get many repeat renters (all of our properties now have had repeat renters), so we feel like we must be doing something right. We do try hard, that’s for sure. I am never far from marketing, between Pinnacle Peak Marketing and BREO Vacation Rentals. I enjoy it, love it and have a goal to help companies grow; connect those companies with their customers and their customers to them.
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