Michiana shoppers gear up for winter weather

BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. --This week, winter weather is hitting Berrien County. With the changing of the seasons come shoppers, looking for their emergency weather equipment.

The manager of Village Do It Best Hardware in Berrien Springs, Garren Dent, said shoppers are coming in for all the winter weather essentials.

"There's an initial hit, whenever we see the weather change," he said. "We do well when there's extremes and when it's really hot, we do a lot of sales, of course, in fans and cooling things. When it's really cold, or the weather gets really nasty, then we have other things."

Popular buys, he said, include sandbags for two-wheel drives and pet-friendly ice melting products. Then, of course, people are starting to buy ice scrapers, shovels, winterize products, and snow sleds!

Dent said the Berrien Springs community is very transient, so there's always new people in town experiencing their first Michiana winter.

Plus, he said, the changing of the seasons always pushes sales.

"You always have that initial rush," he said. "When it first hits, people just rush out there and get the emergency things so that they can… make it to the next day. And the next day might come with ice."

Another popular product this year is space heaters.

Dent warns that while most have anti-tipping mechanisms in place, the heat can still melt clothes or things nearby.

He recommends getting a heater with radiant heat, rather than one that blows heat.

"It's actually quite economical to, instead of turning up the thermostat in your house, you could just turn on this small heater for the hour or two that you're sitting in the chair," he said. "Even though that electricity bill might go up a tad there, it wouldn't take the whole house to heat up."

And one more product that some customers have come in for, Dent said, is a new car battery.

"A weak battery might work fine in the summertime or warmer months," he said. "But when it gets colder, then you often need a new, fresh, strong battery for the wintertime."

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