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Lack of snow has local hardware shops focusing on upcoming growing season

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It has been a warm, wet start to the year and while not having to scrape the ice off your windshield may be nice, what about businesses that deal in snow and ice clearing equipment?

Many hardware stores don’t really bank on winter says Ed Wilkerson, with Magnet Home Hardware.

“Because we have a short window of winter. There’s probably two or three weeks at most where we get temperatures that require snow clearing products. And if we do, it’s one of those things where you don’t really focus too much on it. If you have the product, you’re usually carrying it over from last year so it’s kind of like a bonus.”

So this year’s loss of business has been minor.

“We don’t really focus too much on that. If you have the product, you’re usually carrying it over from last year. So it’s kind of like a bonus. We buy a certain amount of product that assume is going to sell with the eventuality of snow. We sort of go on a guestimation,” says Wilkerson.

So they’ve stowed salt, scrapers and shovels and moved on to the biggest season of the year, growing season.

“We’re bringing out stuff that’s not going to even show up in Alberta or Saskatchewan for another two months is coming here. There are actually products you can’t get here that people want such as garlic. People are screaming for garlic to plant right now.”

He says the heavy rain still has people coming in.

“People are going to be buying umbrellas, tarps, a lot of tarps and a lot of umbrellas. Vancouver is an umbrella city. We probably have 60 or 70 umbrellas in stock all the time.”