Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Note About California

Dear retailers,
Dear the rest of the country,
Dear Mother Nature,

It's October 6. I realize Alaska and Austria have already had snow. I realize the East Coast is swimming down their streets. And I realize it's officially the Halloween season.

But it's still summer here.

I further realize no one feels sorry for us Californians when we talk about the monotony of dry, 86-degree weather day after day, month after month. I get it. We're fortunate in a lot of ways. But our seasons are as every bit as screwed up as yours.

You all know about our high average temperatures. But there's something else about the climate out here you don't understand ... and it causes a hell of a lot of problems.

Summer in the rest of the world is June, July, and August.

Summer in California starts in mid-July and goes to mid-October.

Of course, we residents are all pretty used to this. But the rest of you aren't, and that's what causes us so many problems. (I'm looking at you, retailers.)

I've got plenty of examples:

  • Summer supplies and clothing are taken out of stores in mid-July—right as it gets hot here.
    Which means there are four air conditioning units for sale at Home Depot when hundreds of overheated California residents go looking for one on July 22.
  • Winter supplies and clothing appear in August.
    Which means it's 95 degrees outside and Target's featuring wool coats.
  • Social media fills with comments and delight over fall weather, first rainfalls, and pumpkin-spice everything. Christmas decorations appear. It's late September.
    It's 95 degrees here, and we haven't seen rain in three years.
I'm not asking for sympathy, I'm merely explaining the flip side of sunny California. Though I do admit to wishing some enterprising store managers would buck their corporate orders and keep appropriate stock on shelves for an extra month. 

And if anyone wants to stock up on air conditioning units next May, come September, you could make a killing selling them at two or three times face value. Something to consider...

Still Roasting in Southern California

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