According to the British Retail Consortium, the weather has the second largest influence on our spending habits after the state of the economy. We’ve suffered a particularly bad start to the summer, so who are the retail winners and losers?

The travel industry benefits hugely from bad weather as the number of people in the search for sunshine rises. Temperatures in April were the coldest in more than two decades, and Virgin Atlantic subsequently reported a 37% increase in bookings compared to the previous year, particularly to destinations like the Caribbean.

Conversely as people flee the country for sunnier climes, those in the leisure business, particularly smaller retailers, suffer with less people taking to the UK countryside or coast for holidays or long-weekends.

The big winners from poor weather are online retailers as people stay at home to escape the rain (or snow!), we’ve also seen big furniture stores such as Sharps Bedrooms benefit from rainy days whereas garden centres and outdoor furniture retailers depend on a hotter climate to drivefootfall.

There’s no doubt that which categories prosper is dependent on rain or shine as even the slightest temperature change has immense influence over how we shop. So should freak summer weather worry retailers?

Ultimately we want, and rely upon, the weather following the seasons and the only real ‘bad’ weather for retail is if it is unusually mild or cold for a certain time of year. However, retailers, like Tesco, are becoming savvier and using forecasts to take advantage of the climate and maximise profitability.

But can we really rely on the weatherman?

What’s certain is that whether stocking up on BBQs and burgers or umbrellas and thermals, someone somewhere online or on the high street will be cashing in.