Australia's warm weather is killing sales at clothing retailers

Mother and daughter at Bondi Beach. Don Arnold/Getty Images

The unseasonal warm weather has been a disaster for some Australian clothing retailers.

People have been content with t-shirts and haven’t been shopping for a winter wardrobe, leaving new season clothing left hanging unsold on retail store racks across Australia.

Guy Russo, the head of Wesfarmers’ new department stores division, made the observation about the weather and unsold stock when announcing details of a restructure of the Target business and $1.3 billion in writedowns.

Target, like many retailers in Australia, is currently seeing slower than expected sales because of warm weather, according to Russo.

“Not a lot of people are feeling cold right now,” he says.

“When it does get cold I think we have got some of the best products in Australia sitting in Target.”

Myer, the department store, has also reported issues with the weather.

But the latest quarterly results build on Myer’s half year sales, a 1.8% rise to $1.79 billion, or 3.3% on comparable store sales basis.

Releasing its third quarter sales numbers earlier this month, Myer said sales have been subdued for winter clothing because of the warm weather.

“In recent weeks, the unseasonably warm start to winter has contributed to subdued sales of winter product,” Myer said.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the warmer temperature trend is considerable and most likely will result in some sort of seasonal record.

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