The great British summer is here and we’re moving from sweltering in our jumpers to shivering in summer clothing within a matter of minutes.

The great British summer is here and we’re moving from sweltering in our jumpers to shivering in summer clothing within a matter of minutes.

It’s not just the consumers who are suffering either - last week’s figures from accountancy firm BDO showed that like-for-like sales at mid-tier retailers were down 2.9%year-on-year in July, the sharpest fall in retail sales since October 2011.

Many retailers have put this down to the weather - many were caught out when, after weeks of rain, Britain basked in temperatures of 30 degrees and they only had winter-related products in stock.

But when changeable weather is a key risk of retailing in Britain, why are stores still being caught out? The answer is the bottom line. It’s inefficient to carry excess stock and increase inventory in the hopes of meeting varied customer needs.

However, some retailers are getting it right first time, and every time. One sector in particular that’s ably coping with changeable weather is the convenience sector.

Convenience retailers have flexible and lean supply chains meaning that they plan for demand on a day-by-day basis, stocking the minimum predicted amount in order to meet customer demand. And in addition, ensuring that products move from manufacturer to retailer, to customer, is as fast as possible. With this approach, it’s no wonder that the sector is set to reach £42.6bn in 2015.

Accurately judging the impact that the weather - and major events like the Jubilee and summer of sport - will have on sales is critical for retailers that are looking to take advantage of the factors which drive increases in consumer spending.

As Sir Stuart Rose once said: “weather is for wimps.” Retail is the definition of a fast-moving industry and we know that the quicker you can get your products to market to your customers, the better.

We know that flexible and agile supply chains means a better chance against the competition, whatever the weather.

  • Dean Wyatt, vice president of business development, Retail UK, DHL