Mild winter affects Augusta clothing retailers

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It might be a relief to leave heavy coats in the closet, but for some local retailers the mild winter is a mixed blessing.

Lee McCormick, the buyer for SOHO in Surrey Center, said while this winter has been warm, she learned a long time ago not to buy too many cold-weather items for the store.

“Living in Augusta, we’re going to have those days where the season doesn’t fit the month,” she said. “We learned a long time ago not to buy wool or heavy coats.”

McCormick said SOHO’s spring merchandise is selling well, and the warmer weather is bringing more shoppers on the weekends.

“A warmer day will drive ladies to buy more,” she said.

Nancy Bowers, the owner of Summerville Rags on Monte Sano Avenue, said the warm weather last week alternating with cooler temperatures has confused her customers on what they should buy.

“Even the trees and flowers are confused,” she said. “If they can’t figure it out, how should we be able to?”

Bowers said the mild winter has affected their spring merchandise. Customers are hesitant to buy spring sweaters in early February, but that’s what Bowers said the weather is dictating.

“There hasn’t been a true winter, and it’s affecting everything,” she said.

Amanda Thornton, who owns Threads on Laurens Street in Aiken, said the few coats the store still has on the rack are moving a little more slowly than she would like.

“We didn’t buy that heavily in coats, but we do have a few left,” she said. “Nothing a little 20 percent off tag won’t fix, though.”

Though this is the first winter for Threads, which opened in April, Thornton said she knew to buy mostly transitional pieces that fit well with the local climate.

“Most of our things you can wear with pants underneath, or on its own if it’s one of those crazy days,” she said.

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