JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Winter officially arrives tonight but this year’s record warm temperatures have had a chilling effect on businesses across the country who depend on the cold weather.
It’s estimated that retailers lost out on $343 million compared to a year ago.
On Christmas Eve, temperatures are forecasted to reach the 70’s all the way from Houston to New York City.
The weather hasn’t been good for retailers, but the consumers will likely benefit.
Because sales have been slow, significant discounts on items such as outerwear and sweaters are expected as stores try to clear out their slow-moving inventory.
Stores across the country have lost about $185 million in sales just in the month of November because of the warm fall and winter season.
The trend has continued through December.
Jacksonville consumers agree- it hasn't been cold enough to splurge on bulky winter coats.
“I have a coat and it hasn't really been cold. I've been wearing a lot of sweaters because it's not cold enough for coat,” said Carol Regan.
“Everybody else they stay warm so they really didn't need anything when they want to do some presents some perfumes,” said Holly Glover, another Christmas Shopper.
Retailers will probably continue to see slow sales through the end of the year and into the start of 2016.
Many are overloaded with inventory as it is, and will likely have to rely on steep discounts to get rid of all the coats and sweaters that have piled up.
It's expected that the after-Christmas sales are going to be ginormous. If you saw 50% off sales last year after Christmas, you might expect 75% off next year.
Something shoppers are looking forward to it.
“I'm a bargain shopper. I'm going to wait for the last ultimate bargain. Last possible bargain I can get. No, it's no fun if it's not on sale," said Lucy Erickson.
To mix things up, Weather Trends International expects a very cold, very wet spring.
So just when people are ready to go shopping for some new warm-weather clothes, they may have to reach for one of those coats they didn't wear in the fall.