Glass and Plexiglass Cut to Size
We do Thermo Pane Repairs
Storms and Screens Repaired on Premises
By John Callanan
Mondays snow put a damper on the week for many area residents, but there is a group of people who were counting on the accumulation. Local hardware suppliers, whose profits were out under the weather by a mild winter, welcomed the snow as a way to shed their stores of shovels, sleds and salt.
About 40,000 pounds of rock salt, 500 plastic sleds and 250 snow shovels are still cluttering Agnew & Taylor Hardware in Lake Ronkonkoma. When forecasters called for up to a foot of snow two weeks ago, the stores owner, Paul Weber, hoped to play catch-up.
We sold three shovels and two bags of rock salt, Mr. Weber said. This late in the season people just figure itll melt quick, so they dont bother buying anything. At this point we need a blizzard to recoup whats already been lost. The snowfall at the start of this week hardly reached those proportions.
Besides shovels and rock salt, many suppliers of the seasonal products find themselves overstocked with items such as weather stripping, pipe wrappers, de-freezing solutions and heaters.
Besides the storm on February 24, which fell about 10 inches shy of projections, and the slushy downfall Monday morning, there had been only one significant accumulation of snow on Long Island this winter, and that was back in early December. Otherwise temperatures may have been mild, and consumers have had little or no need for these products. We only sold a fraction of what we expected because we only got a fraction of the snow we expected, said Mark Belmont, manager of Brinkman Hardware in Sayville.
According to National Weather Service reports, the average January temperature in Patchogue dropped from 32.6 degrees in 1986 to 28 degrees last year. The average amount of snowfall also increased over the same period. Last January there were five days with six inches or more or more snow on the ground in Patchogue. In January 1986 there was never more than two inches on any given day. Although information on this years weather is not yet available, the obvious break in the trend fooled local suppliers.
Sis Vanderborgh, a part-owner of Shands General Store in Patchogue, said the heavy snowfall in December led her to believe winter sales would be strong. We sold all of our sleds when it snowed before Christmas, she said. We re-ordered more, and now were stuck with them. Besides having to wait until next year to cash in on this years investement in winter goods, for some the logjam may cause trouble during the summer months as well.
The major problem is storage, Mr. Belmont said. Money is tied up all summer, and we have to find a place to put [the winter products]. I have to get 40,000 pounds of cement in here [this month], Mr. Weber said. I have to find a place to put it.
For one winter-related industry the mild weather may have even more lasting effects on business. According to an area equipment dealer, snowblower sales at the start of next winter may be sluggish. Last years snow affected us this year, said Lew Wiley, part manager at Carls Equipment and Supply Inc. in Medford. Most people try to anticipate what happened last year. We may have trouble at the start of next season.
In the meantime, a few weeks of hope remain. Were expecting a winter, Mrs. Vanderborgh said, but we havent seen one yet.
The snow shovels are ready, added Mr. Weber. Were hoping.
The local hardware store for Suffolk and Nassau County. A short distance from Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Delivery options available.