SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

February 13, 2013

Snow blows lots of business into downtown hardware store

DANVERS — Anytime is a good time to buy a snowblower, according to Steve Sands, who owns Danvers Hardware with brother-in-law Mark Fain.

But it’s not always a good time to be selling snowblowers, particularly given the mild couple of winters we’ve had recently. That all changed last week, however. And as the blizzard approached on Friday, the downtown hardware store got slammed with customers.

In the aftermath of the storm, Sands and Eric Hatch of Peabody, a Danvers Hardware technician, spoke about the challenges of selling snowblowers.

Perhaps last year might have been tough?

Sands: Last year was horrible, actually. As far as last year was concerned, it was kind of no winter at all, with a lot of stuff left over.

Did you sell a snowblower last year?

Sands: Yeah, yeah. We always sell snowblowers, but nothing like it’s been in the last few days. This storm here has just been unbelievable. ... These storms don’t come every year. We geared up for it. We had plenty of shovels, plenty of ice melt, plenty of snowblowers, plenty of all snow-related items.

How do you know what to stock, given a down year last year when there really wasn’t snow?

Sands: Being in business since 1966, you kind of know, basically, what to expect. This is nothing new for us.

Do you use “The Old Farmer’s Almanac”?

Sands: It is what it is. You never know what Mother Nature is going to bring to us. ... Sometimes we do have a lot of stuff we hold over until the next season, but we always try to stay prepared and stay ready for anything. We were definitely ready and prepared for this storm here.

Do people really buy a snowblower last-minute?

Sands: Yes.

Hatch (laughing): What is it, three so far this morning (on Monday)?

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