Last Updated: Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Weather and business commerce - secondary

What is this?

Young people are invited to explore why information about weather can be important to business.

For young people at S1/S2/S3

Parent/carer: discuss the idea with the young person.  You know them best, to work out how much support and prompting they might need.  For example, you could talk about “the supply chain”, and the need for businesses to forward plan if they seem to be running out of ideas.

Knowledge about weather is important for businesses.  People’s buying habits change depending on weather and weather forecasts. 

  • For example, people buy tee shirts for summer weather, coats and jackets for winter weather. We buy different food when the weather is hot from what we buy when the weather is cold.
  • Think of all the ways people’s buying habits are affected by the weather. When should your local supermarket arrange extra supplies of barbecue charcoal?  Ice cream?  Gloves, raincoats and fleeces?
  • What about farmers, who are so important in making sure we get food supplies – wheat for bread, dairy produce, fruit and vegetables? How does weather affect them?  For example, most people might love long periods of sunny dry weather.  Why is that kind of weather not always good news for farmers?
  • Write down as many different products that would be affected by each season’s weather as you can think of.
  • Now think of how to organise your ideas. You could maybe draw out a timeline of a year, naming the months January to December. Note the weather you might expect for each season. Include extremes like droughts caused by heatwaves or floods caused by heavy rain. Make notes of how you think these weather extremes will affect different businesses, in negative or positive ways.
  • For each month or season, write the kinds of products you think shops should be ordering, to be ready for customer demand. Maybe start by choosing one type of shop, for example a food supermarket. Then move on to other kinds of shop such as clothing or gardening or DIY stores.  As an extra challenge, think about when shops are likely to offer their products at sale .
  • Now for an additional challenge should you wish to do this. Think of how, working remotely, you could advise local shops on what products young people of your age would like them to stock, for each season and different weather. Draft an email to circulate to the shops, telling them what kind of advice you can offer.  Make it as attractive an offer as possible! Suggest a charge for your advice – or say it is 'negotiable'.