Report: Warmer Weather Causes 'Coat Crisis' for Retailers

East Coast clothing stores reportedly are coping with an unexpected result of the recent warm weather: Winter-wear isn’t moving.

Average highs in the region have tracked an average 15 degrees warmer than this time last year. As a result, down jackets, wool scarves, gloves and even fur coats are sitting on the racks.

According to the report in the New York Times, a number of executives at major retailers are starting to feel frosty about the warm weather, since they count on seasonal profits to add to their bottom line.

Some reportedly are grumbling about what they’re calling the first “global warming Christmas.”

Some New Yorkers, accustomed to crisp Christmas temperatures, say they’re no longer even planning to buy a winter coat any more – it’s too late in the season.

Retail researchers the NPD Group are predicting the warmer weather will mean a 20 percent plunge in outerwear sales this holiday season. “Retailers are getting caught with their pants down — and their coats off,” said John D. Morris, a senior retail analyst at Wachovia Securities.

Since the cold weather items are lingering on shelves, chain stores are rolling out special sales to try to cope. Bloomingdale’s has cut coat prices by 30 percent, and the Gap is offering 50 percent off on winter clothing.

To read the original report in the New York Times, click here.