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Snow spikes shovel sales

ELKHART, Ind. – Before the snow piles too high, people piled into the Ace Hardware Store on State Road 120 on Thursday to prepare for the snow storm.


“I heard there was going to be a little snow coming and I just thought it was good timing,” Peg Strain said she ran out to the store as soon as it started to snow. “I thought it might be a little easier on my back if I got some new equipment.”


Owner of Elkhart’s Ace Hardware Kyle Stickey said most people come in for shovels and de-icer at the last minute, “People generally wait until the snow is here before they do anything.”


Strain picked up two shovels from the store so she’d be ready, “I have a big wide one for when it’s light enough to pick it up and throw it and a smaller one for when it’s so heavy I can’t lift it.”


Elkhart to expected to get 8-12 inches of snow by the weekend, “Anytime we have snow it increases our business,” Stickley said


With no snow, business has been slow this year. Stickley said the store lost money this year and even with the expected snow, at the store It will be less this year because it’s coming so late you won’t make up for all the sales.”


Shovels stayed out on the shelves later this season but quickly emptied out of the store when the snow started to fall. Stickley said his store sold forty shovels of Thursday, another shipment is set to come in on Friday morning, but still, Stickley said they will probably sell out.   


“We just get dumped on again and again and again, and again, I would think they would sell out,” Strain said.


Anymore than six inches, Stickley said a snow blower is best, “In heavy snows, snow blowers can be hard to get, it’s best to buy early if you want one of those.” Stickley said his store is down to just one snow blower, it’s priced at $650.00.


“Most people who buy snow blowers did not have one last year and they don’t want to deal with shoveling again,” Stickley said.


Some don’t mind it so much; Strain said shoveling is her winter exercise, it’s just tough when the snow turns into ice, “When you just got to chip away at it, that’s annoying,” Strain said.


But people in Elkhart do not have much of a choice when it comes to shoveling, Stickley said, “With the ordinance you have to shovel sidewalks.”


Just like South Bend, Elkhart has a sidewalk shoveling ordinance, once two inches of snow piles up homeowners have 24 hours to clear the sidewalk in front of their homes or get hit with a ticket.


 

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