MONTREAL—A year after warm weather curtailed their Christmas cheer, Canadian winter sport vehicle and apparel retailers aren’t ready to pop the champagne despite a forecasted return to seasonally colder temperatures and snow.
Following two challenging winters, retailers are cautious after enduring another late start to the season.
“We could have the mother of all winters from here to the finish line, which would be wonderful for everyone, but the reality is that this is the third winter that’s deviating from the statistical norm of what winter is,” said Jeff Crook, chief product officer for sporting goods retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Besides weather, he said the winter retail season is experiencing a “revolution” amid economic uncertainty, new competitors and the growth of online sales.
“We do think that there is a fundamental change in the game of winter sales in Canada,” he said from Vancouver.
After “getting kicked in the teeth” over the last two seasons, Crook said MEC has curtailed purchases of discretionary fashion outerwear as it tries to preserve profits despite being forced to offer deep discounts.
A specialist on how weather affects North American businesses says that some retailers were gun shy about buying too much stock a year after enduring the warmest and driest November and December in more than 55 years.
Source : Internet