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Seasonal Shopping: It’s Below Zero Outside and I Need Gloves


This boy needs some boots, and that fit. He also needs his own hat and mittens but will be stuck with his sister’s stuff until next year


Published in ChicagoNow, February 25, 2015


Much to my horror, I discovered I had lost one of my warm gloves. It was a bitter cold February morning with the wind chill dangerously well below zero. Time to buy myself some new warm gloves. After all, Chicago will be very cold at least through March.


Four department stores later, I still had only one warm glove. You see, as a clerk patiently explained, “corporate” pulls winter items from stores on a certain date regardless of what folks like me need. Seasonal shopping means selling things for the upcoming weather six months before it is needed. And no, there were no gloves to be had on the sale tables or in storage either. But I could buy a bathing suit or shorts if I wanted.

Who makes these decisions? I want to tell the deciders that it makes no sense. When it snowed a few days ago in Indianapolis for the first time this winter, my daughter discovered her 2-year-old had outgrown his boots. She bought them back in September when winter boots were being sold. So, she set off in search of a new pair. Like me, she failed in her mission. There were no more boots available for children.


This makes even less sense than my glove issue. Doesn’t “corporate” know that little kids outgrow their winter gear and may need more of it in January or February? I guess my grandson could have had new sandals, but not boots. He had to wear his older brother’s discarded pair of with two pair of socks and another stuffed in the toe to keep his feet warm. No wonder it takes him a half hour to walk to the car parked in the driveway.


Then there are my pre-teen granddaughters who amazingly just keep growing. The leggings and long-sleeve shirts my daughter bought for them back in August when school clothes were on sale (in 90-degree heat) are too small in this cold month of February. So, they went shopping and what did they find? Capri pants, shorts, and short-sleeve tops.


Thank goodness for the Internet. Yes, there were gloves waiting for me at Amazon. Hopefully, they will arrive before the snow melts. My daughters were less successful. The children’s boots were largely sold out, as was winter clothing in size 12. I guess their kids have to stop growing or they just have to hope things warm up soon.

Retailers, especially brick and mortar stores, maybe some of your poor sales figures are due to not selling what people want and need. The stores I visited in my quest for gloves were empty. Remember the days when the motto of the late Marshall Fields stores was, “Give the lady what she wants”? I do, and I dearly miss those days.


Seasonal shopping for me means that items that match the weather are still available. Especially for children’s clothing. Items like snow pants, winter hats, mittens, jackets, and sweaters should still be sold in the winter. Who wants to buy shorts in February when it’s snowing and the temperature has dipped into the single digits?

Baby needs a pair of boots.



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by Laurie Levy
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