Selling Umbrellas? Check The Web Forecast

FOR SOME PEOPLE, AN ACCURATE local weather forecast means more than just deciding whether to carry an umbrella or smear on suntan lotion. For retail sales managers, weather patterns can make or break a sales period. Last May, for example, retail sales were down nearly 1% because of an unusually cool month. Looking ahead, would retail outlets be wise to stock up on air conditioners this summer? If so, where are the likely "hot spots"? AccuWeather Inc., long known for its weather forecasting, wants to tailor its data to individual customers' needs.

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