NEW YORK — What a difference a year makes.
Last year, the Northeast and Midwest endured one of the wildest winters in recent memory, with subpar temperatures and record snowfalls. Consumers shivered through the ice-box conditions, buying and wearing anything that would protect them from the elements. Meanwhile, coat makers’ bottom lines were warmed by the sound of whirring registers.
It’s been a different story this year, with above-normal fall and winter temperatures and minimal snows cooling the urge to buy, sending coat executives into a depression and reviving talk of global warming.
Here’s a comparison of average monthly temperatures recorded by the National Weather Service at Newark International Airport in New Jersey.

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