The recent flooding claimed its first retail scalp last week when home furnishings chain Paul Simon filed for administration.

The recent flooding claimed its first retail scalp last week when home furnishings chain Paul Simon filed for administration.

The retailer was already suffering from the rise of online rivals, but it was the flooding, which prevented its shoppers getting to stores, that tipped it over the edge, according to administrator Deloitte.

If it’s not flooding, it’s Arctic cold snaps or torrential rain. As Easter approaches we are reminded how the holiday was ruined for DIY and home retailers last year by heavy snow. Kingfisher first-quarter group like-for-likes slumped 4.2%.

And 12 months before that the wettest April on record dampened any hopes of a consumer spending spree on home improvement over the critical Easter trading period, when consumers have historically kicked off DIY projects.

There isn’t much retailers can do about extreme weather events. But they can try and limit the damage by altering the way they do business. When weather begins to significantly hit profits, the larger listed retailers are soon called upon by the City to rethink their models to better cope with such weather events, that some say are here to stay.

In its year to March 2, 2013, Homebase operating profit tumbled 52% to £11m after the retailer was disproportionately hit by the wet weather in April 2012. Homebase has a strong gardening offer, which accounts for more than a quarter of its sales, but when it’s pouring with rain outside, the last thing people are thinking about is planting bulbs.

Homebase has worked hard to try and shield itself from such volatile weather, by using a predominantly UK supplier base, switching adverts to suit the weather and delaying stock.

Rivals have taken similar action. But going by the extent of the profit plummets we have seen in the past two years because of unpredictable and extreme weather events, is it time DIY and home retailers took more drastic action?