While most of us detest the frigid weather and sub-zero wind chills, Iowa retailers are welcoming winter’s arrival. It’s tough to sell sweaters and wool coats when it’s 40-degrees outside, so retail expert David Brennan says Iowa retailers who were seeing sluggish sales may have better luck now that it’s icy-cold. Brennan expects a flock of last-minute shoppers to hit the malls this weekend. Brennan says “The nation as a whole has really been suffering, if you want to call it suffering, from unseasonably warm weather. Now that is changing, particularly here in the Upper Midwest and I suspect that we’re going to see some real bounce in the apparel and department store sales with the cold weather having moved in.” The federal government says apparel and department store sales fell slightly in November, but most other areas of retail saw improvements. Brennan says retailers are doing a good job of stocking only as much product as they can sell, which means many stores don’t have lots of extra products they need to mark down before Christmas.Brennan says “The amount of discount and the timing of the discount is going to come later and may not be nearly as severe as it has been in years past.” The government says the average retailer has enough product in stock to last one-point-three months. Inventories haven’t been that low in more than a decade.
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