According to local Vermont news affiliate WPTZ, the unseasonably mild weather has resulted in a drastic decrease of winter clothing purchases at major retail stores.
In the U.S. alone, sales of hats, gloves, and scarves are down 10% this winter compared to last year. In the UK, sales of the same outerwear products have plummeted by 32%.
Retail consultancy company Planalytics estimates that U.S. apparel retailers lost $838 million in just November and December because of the warm temperatures. Losses are expected to reach $120 million in the UK.
Scott Bernhardt, president of Planalytics, believes that sales of winter clothing in both countries will remain stagnant until brutally low temperatures finally convince consumers to stock up on coats and scarves.
“When consumers are walking across the mall parking lots… without coats and sometimes in shorts and short sleeves, browsing for winter apparel just isn’t top of mind,” said Bernhardt.
While the weather remains mild, shoppers may want to invest in linen clothing. In hot weather, those dressed in linen are found to show the skin temperature about 3°-4°C below those who wear silk or cotton, and it also provides warmth when temperatures drop.
For those who desire a bargain on their linen clothing, both Macy’s and Gap pushed up and extended their Christmas sales to drum up more interest in winter apparel.
According to The Telegraph, major retailers may be the only ones who are not enjoying the warm temperatures.
Britain’s squirrels are getting fat thanks to the abundance of food that has been available during this mild winter. Last month was the warmest December on record in the UK, with average temperatures of 7.9° C, about 4.1°C above the long-term average.
However, these squirrels may want to enjoy the extra nuts and seeds while it lasts. Meteorologists say that the unseasonable weather is due to El Niño, a weather phenomenon that occurs roughly every seven years.
In the meantime, weather in both the U.S. and UK is already starting to worsen. Eventually, temperatures will plateau, snow will begin to fall, and consumers will find themselves reaching for winter clothing once again.