- The unseasonably warm weather has left some people feeling cold about holiday shopping, hurting sales.
Planalytics, a weather forecasting firm for retailers, estimates so far this season mall-based clothing stores have lost $343 million compared with last year. That's the largest weather-related loss since 1998 when a devastating ice storm hit parts of the Northeast.
Sales of cold-weather items have been particularly icy. Women's boots in New York, for instance, are down 24 percent, according to Planalytics. And First Data, which analyzes payments at stores and online, said fur sales are off by 20 percent.
"Winter didn't happen and so the clothes, the scarves are not selling," said Ron Friedman, head of the retail and consumer products group at accounting firm Marcum LLP. As a result, he says shoppers will see discounts of 75 percent after Christmas.
The cold reception by shoppers is forcing retailers to be creative to try to lure them into stores.
Some stores are offering bigger discounts than they ordinarily would. Macy's, for example, is advertising 70 percent off some men's sweaters and 75 percent off children's outerwear this weekend, while Kohl's is slashing prices of puffy jackets to $39.99 from the original $100.
Sears is moving its grills to the front part of its outdoor living sections in the Northeast, where it's been unseasonable warm.