Winter Coat Crisis of 2006

The New York Times is reporting on a phenomenon they call “Coat Crisis of 2006, a fashion fiasco measured in racks of unsold fur-lined shearlings at Saks Fifth Avenue and down puffer jackets at Bloomingdale’s.”

Warm weather all over the east coast has been disasterous for sales of winter gear—with average highs 15 degrees above normal. In addition, it’s fashionable to wear layers…rather than a heavy, expensive coat, “Several seasons ago, consumers starting wearing more layers, stacking corduroy blazers over cashmere sweaters over collared shirts over long-sleeve T-shirts — rendering heavy coats unnecessary in all but the coldest weather. “

What does this mean for you? With sales down 20%, there are lots of great coats on sale. If you have a gift card to cash in, now might be the time. It may be warm now, but the good weather can’t last. —MEGHANN MARCO

In Shirt-Sleeve Holiday Season, Overcoats Linger on the Racks [New York Times]