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Is the Warm Weather Affecting Retail Sales?

By: Ray Hawthorne
By: Ray Hawthorne

The unseasonably balmy weather has some thinking about their summer wardrobes and plants that are ready to blossom. Our own Ray Hawthorne explains that Mother Nature may soon put an abrupt end to the spring preview.

The sunshine is out, the palm trees are swaying and temperatures are again in the 70s. You might think we're in late March or early April. This balmy stretch has lasted a full two weeks, so you know it can't last that much longer. It is January after all.

Seemingly unnecessary commodities such as space heaters and sweaters are sitting around collecting dust on store shelves, but warm weather clothes are hot sellers.

Terrance Flowers, executive team leader at Target, says, "During the holiday season we did a lot of sales with jackets and sweaters. Now since it has warmed up, we have people trying on swimsuits. We're starting to sell more swimsuits now."

Not only are some of us taking advantage of the warmth; even a few plants are getting a head start on spring, too. For those of you who slipped a few plants outdoors lately, remember to take precautions when the cold air returns.

Cathy Peters, a horticulturist, says, "They still would want to cover plants that they would normally be concerned about the cold, such as citrus and tender ornamentals."

But beware of this spring tease says our own Mike McCall; big changes appear to be in the offing by the weekend.

"It looks like we're about to get a very strong cold front. They've all been pulling up short the last couple of weeks, but the warm weather is about to rapidly come to an end," says McCall.

In the meantime, your best bet is to enjoy the spring-like weather before ‘Old Man Winter’ makes yet another cameo. The recent warm spell has resulted in temperatures almost 12 degrees above average.


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