Last month’s heatwave in the Pacific Northwest created unbearable conditions in an area where many homes don’t even have air conditioners. But as the temperature soared higher, some companies saw their sales melt while others were boosted along with the thermostat. In today’s Insight Flash, we dig into which companies benefitted and suffered the most, including a deep dive into surprising gains for Uber and Lyft.
When looking at our WeatherOptics weather disruption model impact on sales in Oregon and Washington during the peak of the heat wave June 25th through June 28th, Lyft and Uber emerge as the primary beneficiaries of Pacific Northwesterners not wanting to walk through the heat or deal with long hot wait times for mass transit. Lyft sales saw a 3.3% boost from weather on those days in those states and Uber saw a 2.2% lift. Movie theatres also benefitted as a refuge from the heat. On the downside, people were less inclined to start home improvement projects or buy sporting goods during those days. Sherwin-Williams and Lowe’s saw the largest negative impact to sales, declining -2.3% and -2.0% respectively.
Ranked Sales Impact
A time series shows very clearly the impact to Lyft and Uber during the most intense days of the heatwave. Although both companies saw a 1-2% benefit from heat in Oregon and Washington June 20-24, this spiked above 4% on June 25, maxing out at 4.9% for Lyft on June 27 and 4.9% for Uber on June 26. The impact stayed above 4% on June 28 before moderating to 3% for both companies on June 29 and back to about 2% on June 30.
Ridesharing Daily Impact
The Pacific Northwest wasn’t the only place experiencing hot temperatures at that time, and Lyft saw a similar weather benefit in the Mid-Plains and Middle Atlantic. Uber saw a wider benefit extending to more of the Midwest and Texas.