HARLEY DAVIDSON, New Jersey — “There are some clothes you should be wearing, some you should not.
Some people want to dress up as zombies.”
That was the message from Harley Davidson founder and chief executive officer John Davidson, who was addressing a crowd of hundreds at a rally in New Jersey.
It was the first time Davidson has spoken publicly about the upcoming hot weather season.
His words came as some businesses closed their doors to customers and other retailers pulled some of their clothing and accessories from their shelves.
The hot weather brings down demand for winter gear, including coats, gloves and shoes.
And Davidson is trying to get his brand’s survival gear back into the market.
The company said Friday it has plans to make its winter coats, hats and boots, which are not normally made in the United States, available at select retailers.
The winter coats are expected to go on sale on Feb. 10.
The business was hit hard by the Great Recession and by the hurricanes of Hurricane Sandy and Irma.
It lost almost half its business in the first half of 2017.
The New Jersey-based company has more than 20 million customers in the state, but most are employees, who can’t shop at Davidson’s stores.
The news comes as Davidson is preparing for a new season in the marketplace, which begins this week.
The retailer has made a splash in recent months with its signature summer and fall seasons.
Some of the company’s most popular winter coats have gone on sale at select stores this month, but they are not for sale in most stores.
Davidson told the crowd he is taking the company a step further this season by making some of his most popular items available at his stores.
“I’ve never had to close a store in my life, so I’m going to keep it open,” he said.
Davidson said he is making his company’s outdoor gear available at retailers in the New Jersey and Connecticut areas, which have had a rough year in the winter.
“We’ve got a big part of our business coming from the outdoors.
We have to be ready,” he told the gathering of more than 1,000 people.
“The winter is coming and we’ve got to be prepared.”
The weather, along with other challenges like a slow economy and record snowfall, has been a major factor in the decline of the clothing industry.
The industry was worth about $2 billion in 2015 and is projected to lose about $600 million this year.
Davidson also has some warning signs about the coming winter.
He has said the weather could bring down prices of some of the apparel items.
But the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group, has said some retailers are making too much of their winter apparel, which includes coats, jackets, jackets and hats.
The NF said it has received complaints about retailers selling a few of the items.