The impact of winter storm Juno on retailers should not be too serious despite fears of shuttered stores for much of this week, according to one analyst.

The blizzard, which has hit the north-east coast of the US this week, could cause stores to close for up to four days, says Cowen analyst Oliver Chen – but, if 2% of quarterly sales in the north-east are lost and retailers have an 18% mix of stores in the area, revenues would be cut, on average, by only 0.4%.

But Chen said retailers could recover some of the lost revenue through online sales, and would be less impacted since the closures occurred during the week, and in a less important trading month. Off-mall stores, children’s-oriented and less fashion-sensitive products would be at particular risk, he said.

“January 2015 month-to-date has been stronger from a traffic perspective versus January 2014 – which gives us confidence the blizzard of 2015 won’t be detrimental to 4Q comps,” Chen added.

“Additionally, weather disruptions in 2014 in the Midwest were not repeated this year, which could bring further upside to January versus last year.”

Retail analyst Stifel yesterday (27 January) warned that the severe winter weather would hold back the ability and desire of east coast consumers to shop, negatively impacting January comp figures.

But looking further into the first half of the year, the analyst also said it was “optimistic”, adding: “We expect the fundamental strength in the sector, evident in the holiday season, to continue; driven by an improved economy, a more optimistic consumer, lean inventories and lower costs helping to lift sales and margins.”