Mild Winter Equals Hot Sales on Winter Gear

By KBJR News 1

February 6, 2012 Updated Feb 6, 2012 at 12:16 AM CDT

Duluth, MN/Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - At Wintergreen, in the Fitger's Complex—a store that specializes in Northwoods–friendly winter clothing—business isn't what it should be.

"It's been slow this year—relating to the weather. But, a lot of businesses like ourselves are really trying to come up with different ways to get people in," said employee Erik Topie.

With many heavy–duty, Ely–made items marked down by 25–40% off, Topie said it's the perfect time to think ahead, whether that's for the near—or distant—future: "This is definitely a good time to buy jackets or any of your winter needs. Eventually, winter—I'm hoping—will come. And then, you'll be ready for it."

Across the bridge—at the Northwest Outlet, in Superior—shoppers searching for a winter bargain are already taking to the aisles.

"I usually buy a jacket for my daughter for the next year," said Duluth resident Craig Buckley.

Buckley said—while the mild season has been kind on heating bill expenses—it's been a tough one for fellow winter enthusiasts.

"Being an outdoor person, it's tough on the ice rinks and things like that. It's tough on the local economy, I know that," said Buckley.

Employee Joe Madison said—while the major deals on name brand winter gear have boosted sales—it's not the jackets that need pushing: "Snowshoes—we have 15% off—trying to get rid of them. We have about 2–300 of them in the back."

Given the record–high temperatures that the Northland has experienced this winter—ironically—ice–fishing sales, according to Madison, have been, unexpectedly, steady.

"Ice is formed, there's just not any snow on it," said Madison.

And, as far as season–end predictions go, Madison said he remains optimistic: "We still have two months of winter left, hopefully. So, hopefully we'll be selling a lot of it. But, you never know. We might end up with more product than we usually do at the end of the year."

...remaining cool while feeling the heat.

Madison also added that, while sales on winter gear are typical during this time of the year, the duration of the sales—and 40 percent–off pricing—is anything but.