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Under Armour, retailers 'in panic mode' with cold gear in warm weather

The unseasonably warm weather has been nice -- unless you're a retailer counting on icy temperatures to spur sales of clothing that keeps out the cold.

Under Armour is among retailers sitting on excess inventory and heavily discounting merchandise, according to The Street's Real Money column today.

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Both Under Armour and Columbia Sportswear "are in panic mode as December temperatures in the Northeast have consistently been in the 50s," the story by Carleton English says. This raises questions about how the crucial holiday season will play out, English says.

Under Armour, which saw quarterly sales top $1 billion for the first time in the third quarter, thanks partly to a spike in footwear sales, is advertising 25 percent off select gear on its website, including leggings, long-sleeve shirts and hoodies.

"We're making the holidays easy," the website says.

Under Armour is not alone in the inventory pile-up, Real Money says. It cites others including Men's Wearhouse, with its troubled Jos. A. Bank chain, and Under Armour rival Lululemon Athletica, which could be a "victim of its own success as others, such as Gap and Nike, have copied the look at a much lower price point."

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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