The deserted section of room heating products at a mall. (Kammutty VP)
By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: With a relatively unusual warm weather experienced during this period of the year sales of winter clothes and room heaters have dwindled.
Some well-kwon outlets have reduced prices of winter clothes to promote sales, which is usually done at the end of cold season.
Shopkeepers claim demand for winter clothes has halved compared to last year and some clothes are sold with a 50 percent discount.
Although, the Meteorology Department says that average temperature for January remains usual, according to records the temperature has been higher in December last year in comparison to 2011.
In 2011 mid December, Doha has experienced average temperature of 26 Celsius and 18 Celsius, while it was between 31 Celsius and 21 Celsius in last December.
“Usually prices will be reduced only by end of February to clear the winter clothes stock. But this year since the weather has not actually changed much, people are not buying winter clothes,” said an assistant manager of an outlet selling clothes. “After each season, clothes are kept in a terminal stock to be used next year, this time the volume of stock could be higher,” he added.
Certain clothes sold at a price of QR200 in the first week of December are being sold at QR100 since last week at some stores. They claim many people travelling abroad bought winter clothes during the New Year season and others were looking for normal clothes. “It was only for few days that customers were looking for winter clothes, especially those who were travelling abroad for the holidays did buy winter clothes,” said a sales assistant working for an outlet in a popular shopping mall.
“There is a fall in business, hope the weather will change,” he said.
Sales of room heaters, quilts and blankets too have been considerably hit by the unusual weather conditions. Room heaters of different brands and sizes are available at prices ranging from QR150 to QR450 on average. But some shops have reduced price to QR99. “Usually sales increases at the beginning of winter, after that it will be normal,” said product manager for a brand of room heaters.
However, there is no unusual reading in monthly average temperature for December and January according to the meteorological department.
“Temperature falls by two degrees in January. This is happening for many years in Qatar and this year too is no exception,” said Abdullah Al Mannai, head of the forecast and analysis section at the department.
“More cold will be felt on Friday and Saturday,” he further said.
Temperature will be between 14 Celsius and 25 Celsius according weather forecast, with strong winds today.