floodbusiness.jpg Joe Raedle/staff/Getty Images
People walk down a flooded street past businesses as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston stores facing flood devastation

$1B impact on retail already, analysts estimate

Hundreds of food stores remained closed across Texas Monday as the area dealt with continued flooding and heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey — a storm expected to have an historic economic impact.

The weather intelligence firm Planalytics said Monday it already estimates Harvey has cost Texas retailers more than $1 billion in lost sales. It said Harvey would likely be among the top five or 10 most expensive disasters in history for retailers and rival the economic devastation brought by the last Category 4 hurricane to make U.S. landfall, Hurricane Charley, in 2004, which had a $15 billion impact.

The economic impact of the storm will come into better focus over time, Planalytics noted. The company said initial assessments indicate restaurants have taken the biggest hit of retail businesses as they do not make up for lost traffic.

As consumers focused on “need-based” purchases look to supermarkets, with multiple closures some in storm-affected areas had lines to get in, social media posts showed:

Retail chains including WalmartBrookshire Bros. and Aldi kept shoppers informed of store closures over the internet. Other retailers like Fiesta Mart used social media to inform shoppers to call local stores before trying to visit.


H-E-B posted its store closings on Facebook. Some stores have since reopened:

 
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