Warm Weather Will Chill Apparel Sales

 | Dec 22, 2011 | 7:05 AM EST  | Comments
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Really fearing the warm weather here. My channel checks for the end of this holiday season didn't pan out as well as I thought they would for the Deckers (DECK) / North Face -- VF Outdoor -- contingent because it just never got cold in time.

As someone who grew up with the Christmas Crunch, with my dad frantically shlepping boxes, bags, ribbons and gift wrap to all sorts of clothing stores, I can tell you this was the weather we dreaded. There would be no last-day surge, there would be no cold snap that got rid of the heaviest of inventories.

Last night I got a call from someone who asked about Deckers. Last month I had Angel Martinez on the show talking about the strength of the brand going into the season, but this is precisely the kind of merchandise, along with North Face, that gets stalled by the fact that it doesn't feel like Christmas.

I am setting myself up for disappointment on both, hoping for the best but recognizing from the pain of 35 years of watching these seasons come and go that this kind of weather will produce the worst of cold-weather clothes sales.

Random musings: Yes, I am still betting that the pro-growth 1% solution will make it so the bloated, miserable Italian situation can improve the way that Spain is improving. I know that the ratings agencies could derail this capital build/sovereign debt improvement process, but it is the best of a real bad set of alternatives and I think it tides us over into the Italian auction season, when the rubber will hit the road. Remember, Spain is turning. Italians are much, much bigger, but also more solvent. Watch SocGen -- it didn't perform well yesterday, potential weak link.

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