Lack of snow is hurting some local businesses

We’ve had a pretty mild winter so far with below average snowfall.

For some hardware stores in our area, winter is an important time for sales but the lack of snow is making things difficult.

Mark Parins an employee at ACE Hardware on Mormon Coulee road in La Crosse said, “It’s been a little slower than we expected.”

Parins said the mild winter is really hurting sales.

“Obviously the lack of snow has affected businesses in all kinds of ways because they’re not coming in and buying as many shovels or as many snowblowers,” Parins said.

Parins said the store really relies on those sales.

“The two busiest parts of the year where it really takes off is winter and spring with the fertilizer and stuff like that. But people aren’t thinking about that yet,” Parins said.

On the plus side sales from salt have remained fairly high.

“In the salt end of our business we have a lot of industrial customers, hospitals and stuff, they buy a lot they go through a lot they have to,” Parins said.

Eric Williams, a sales manager at 2Brothers Powersports, said it’s pretty much business as usual.

“Snowmobile sales have been good so far. Nothing’s riding locally but up north has been good out west,” Williams said.

The warmer weather last weekend even helped the store sell some motorcycles.

“You wouldn’t say Jan. 5 is going to be a great motorcycle time in Wisconsin but I’ll take it. If the sun’s out and people want to go enjoy it hopefully I have something they can enjoy,” Williams said.

The La Crosse Street Department said they’re ready for snow.

Andy Bakalars from La Crosse Street Department said, “Of course we don’t like blizzards but I mean some snow would be OK.”

On the plus side they’ve saved some money on salt so far but that could easily change.

“We probably have saved some on salt in December but like I say sometimes you’ll save in December and then you’ll use twice as much in January or February. So you never know until summer actually hits where you’re at,” Bakalars said.

Parins is hoping the snow will come down so sales can go up.

“I think this weekend we’re supposed to get the chance of a little snow so actually we’re kind of hoping we get some because we’d like to obviously make some money,” Parins said.

The streets department says even if it doesn’t snow they’re still going to be plenty busy picking up Christmas trees and hauling out silt from Pammel creek.

If it doesn’t snow the street department will put all of the excess salt and sand in storage until next year.

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