Mainers will brave some pretty frigid weather to go Christmas shopping

Shoppers in Bangor buy local during Plaid Friday, a way of promoting local shopping in Bangor during Black Friday last year. (BDN file photo)

Shoppers in Bangor buy local during Plaid Friday, a way of promoting local shopping during Black Friday last year. (BDN file photo)

Holiday shopping — typically starting with the doorbuster deals of post-Thanksgiving’s Black Friday or its local downtown equivalent, Plaid Friday — provide retailers with a boost before the doldrums of winter really kick in.

But even with the added motivation of stocking up on gifts before Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever your seasonal holiday is, there is a temperature at which it’s too cold even for hardy Mainers to head out shopping.

A recent Weather Channel survey found that while Californians start shutting themselves in at a relatively balmy 32 degrees Fahrenheit, Maine shoppers will continue boldly hitting the downtown until it gets all the way down to 8 degrees.

Only people in seven other states will endure colder temperatures while shopping, with the iciest shoppers found in Wyoming, where it’s not “too cold” until it drops to 4 degrees.

Oklahoma shoppers stay indoors with their California friends at 32 degrees, while Floridians aren’t far behind with a “too cold for shopping” threshold of 30 degrees.

Depending on the windchill, you might find Mainers not only out shopping, but doing so in shorts at those temps.

Here’s how the Weather Channel broke it down by regional averages:

weather map


The cable network found that frigid temperatures aren’t the only weather developments to keep people inside.

Nationwide, the survey found that 76 percent of people do plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, that same percentage of people said they’d stay home in “icy conditions.”

More than half of the respondents across the country — 53 percent — said they’d be deterred from going out shopping by as little as three inches of snow, while 66 percent said it’d take about five inches of the white stuff to keep them away from the stores.

Thunderstorms, high winds and hail are shop blockers for 57 percent of the survey takers.

The Weather Channel apparently didn’t ask about crowds, which in Maine may be more of a deterrent than snow.

In any case, the cable network is forecasting that temps will be warmer than average this winter in Maine and other northern states, so downtown shops can hope for strong holiday shopping seasons.