Will Sandy Hurt Apple’s Holiday Sales?

With hurricane Sandy set to deliver a certain economic and infrastructural hit, individual companies are also bracing for the storm. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has decided to close up to 50 retail stores across the East Coast in preparation for the destructive weather and is in the process of boarding up windows at 35 stores that fall in the storm’s direct path.

Several Apple stores in New York City, including the flagship store on Fifth Avenue, were closed on Sunday evening with sandbags stacked outside the storefront. Devices have been wrapped in plastic bags to prevent water damage. Stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. are also receiving similar advice, according to ifoAppleStore.

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The hurricane’s impact will be felt in retailers’ November sales in what is a critical holiday quarter. “The overall impact is going to be a negative for November retail sales with store closings and consumers hunkering down at home during the storm,” Krissy Klinger, a business meteorologist at Weather Trends International, told MarketWatch. Klinger said retailers will face a few days of reduced store traffic and closings and will lose a day or two of sales.

The storm is predicted to extend beyond the Canadian border, hitting as many as 12 states on its way and bringing up to 25 centimeters of rain, 60 centimeters of snow, storm surges, flooding, and power cuts. While it’s too early for economists to peg the precise impact, businesses from airlines to manufacturers have been hit after a state of emergency was declared in nine states.

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