Weather blamed for snow-blower shortage

It's getting tougher and tougher for people to get their hands on a snow-blower because of the demand that the weekend blizzard created. At least one dealer says it hasn't created higher prices. He says dealers typically buy snow-blowers according to how many they sold in the previous year, but the blizzard created so much demand, that they can't keep up.

John Davies has a DJ business to run, and customers expecting him for weddings and other events.

“They don't want to hear that you're snowed in,” he said.

Davies says he tried almost a half-dozen stores looking for a snow-blower, and couldn't get a $900 model for at least a week.

“It's a little frustrating because we're willing and able to pay for it,” Davies said.

He says he and his wife didn't talk about buying one for a while, and ended up forgetting about it until it was too late.

“I'm sure there's others that got stuck and snow bound.”

He says a neighbor helped him clear his driveway after the blizzard.

“We got caught with that this year,” Davies said.

At Pinehurst Hardware Hank in Eau Claire, the only snow-blowers around are the ones that are in for repair. The owner says he over-sold the 35 he bought for this year and others he ordered later, all because of the weather.

“You make your best estimate and you get more when you need more,” Alex Bourdage said. “It takes time for it to be made and delivered back from the factory.”

His customers are now buying snow-blowers that will arrive on about January 10.

John says he's just keeping his fingers crossed that his snow-blower shows up before too much more snow does.

“It's nobody's fault,” he said. “But your own?” we asked him. “But my own, yep,” he said.

Another hardware store, Ace on Birch Street, said it had about five snow-blowers left at about 3:45 Tuesday afternoon. A manager says after those sell, customers would have to wait about two to three weeks so it could order more.

Pinehurst Hardware Hank has 60 snow-blowers in for repairs and isn't taking in any more right now. It says its customers can expect that service to resume in a week.

A Menard, Inc. spokesperson released this statement on snow-blower sales in Menards stores:

“All of our area stores are well-stocked with winter weather supplies including snow blowers. We realize that our guests often need certain things right away whenever a storm hits. We pride ourselves in being prepared with additional inventory whenever we’re faced with a weather emergency.”

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