Warm autumn snags sportwear sales

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Norway’s unseasonably warm autumn has left tons of down jackets, heavy sweaters and other winter sportswear piling up in retail stores and warehouses. “If we can’t empty our stocks in December, there will be a price dive in the entire branch,” Henning Eriksen, director of sporting goods chain G-Max, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

Neither G-Max nor other major chains like XXL and Anton Sport have sold the quantities of warm winter clothing that they’d expected. After the last two winters with months of sub-freezing temperatures, they stocked up for this year – only to face thermometers well above the freezing point and no snow or ice.

“When folks can sit outside at Aker Brygge (a popular waterfront complex in Oslo) and have a beer while wearing a T-shirt, it has consequences,” Eriksen told DN.

He said the entire sporting goods branch is hoping for colder weather, snow that finally will allow a new ski season to begin, and Christmas sales that will deplete their inventories as the holiday shopping season gets underway.

Eriksen noted that some retailers have already begun discounting their merchandise. Among them is Anton Sport, where manager Morten Borgersen said their pre-Christmas inventories were planned long before the weather turned against them. He denied, though, that his chain was having any trouble paying its own bills.

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