As the weather turned extremely frightful this week, shoppers were out in full force gearing up to potentially spend many days indoors. Severe snow and record low temperatures in some areas of the country (particularly the Midwest and East Coast) caused shoppers to prepare for the worst. Food and supplies were at the top of the list for shoppers preparing to wait out the frigid weather.

As shoppers visited stores in droves, retailers benefitted from an influx of shoppers making stock up trips as well as many impulse buys. As of Saturday evening, January 4, 2014, many grocery store shelves became bare – with basics such as milk, eggs and bread completely sold out in certain parts of the country.

Typically many factors influence consumers when determining where and how to shop for groceries, yet luckily for retailers – shoppers abandoned their typical shopping strategies for fear of being unprepared. Following the holiday season, shoppers tend to reign in their spending a bit more, which can often be a challenge for retailers. However, those in the affected areas were likely to see a rise in spending over the past week, a rare occurrence for early January. Those lucky enough to live in warmer parts of the country successfully avoided the severe weather.

While shut indoors, consumers may turn to online and mobile shopping to combat the cabin fever, and the market could stand to benefit. Online and mobile shopping sales are estimated at $253 billion in 2013—a 12% increase from 2012. To learn more, click here.