Hurricane Florence made landfall in North and South Carolina on September 14, 2018, devastating homes and disrupting the lives of thousands of people.
Using our EarnestQuery tool, we analyzed how the storm impacted Grocers, Home, General Merchandise and Restaurant merchants before, during and after Florence hit.
We looked at how Florence impacted different verticals, including Grocer, Home Goods and General Merchandise as residents stocked up on essential supplies ahead of the storm. In the week leading up to the hurricane, these verticals outperformed in North and South Carolina compared to the rest of the country. Restaurants showed stronger performance in the week following the hurricane, as an influx of out of state first responders and volunteers may have contributed to a growth in sales.
General Merchandise merchants like BJ’s Wholesale, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree saw the most significant acceleration in sales growth in the week before the hurricane.
We analyzed the spend of ~50k North and South Carolina residents to see how their purchasing behaviors were impacted by the storm as people prepared or evacuated to nearby towns and surrounding states.
During the week Hurricane Florence made landfall, neighboring states Georgia and Florida saw 1.6x more dollars from Carolinians than the prior week, while Virginia saw 1.2x more.
Analyzing the changes in market share of the top 15 restaurant chains in Florida and Georgia, we see that Cracker Barrel benefited the most from the influx of out-of-state dollars. Chick-fil-a, Firehouse Subs, and Chipotle lost ~1-1.8% of market share week over week.