Where’s the winter wear?

AP Photo
AP Photo

This brutal arctic weather is stripping store shelves of the basics like hats, gloves and scarves.

“Had a lady yesterday ask my co-manager, she said:  ‘So, I can get a bikini right now but I can’t get an insulated hat,’” recalled Jessica Phillips, store manager at Terre Haute’s Super Wal-Mart on U.S. Highway 41 South.

“We are out on a few things, but we’ve contacted suppliers. It’s our core belief to be able to continue to provide the excellent service, so what we’ve done is we’ve called them,” reassured Chris Funk, the store’s assistant manager.

The Super Wal-Mart is down to three men’s stocking caps for winter, and managers here say it’s the same story at the Terre Haute store on State Road 46.

“We were able to get some more scarves and gloves here in the recent cold snap,” said Phillips, with respect to the women’s and children’s section. “People are calling, wanting the generators — and the different heaters, the radiant heaters.”

Even though this rather unexpected retail rush is bad for buyers, it’s good for the world of retail.

“It’s good for us because it sells-out before it gets marked-down, but I’ve never seen it, all of the winter merchandise sell before we do put it on-sale,” said store manager Phillips.

And it’s not just Wal-Mart testifying to this trend; K-Mart in Terre Haute is out of winter ski masks, while all three Auto-Zone locations are out of the product “Heet,” that drivers pour into their fuel line to prevent freezing.

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