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Hardware Stores Without Shovels And Salt After Flurry Of Customers

GREEN TREE, Pa. (KDKA) - Monday was not a good day to break your snow shovel or run out of rock salt. Many stores were so slammed with customers over the weekend all the winter essentials are either sold out or in very limited supply.

"I wanted a shovel. But I guess they don't have any," said Trevor Morrow from the South Hills.

Like several other customers, when Morrow came to the Ace Hardware on Greentree Road, he was greeted by sold-out signs, informing shoppers there were no snow blowers, snow shovels, power shovels, sleds, rock salt or propane.

"It's really upsetting because I was shoveling earlier and I had a plastic shovel and it broke," Morrow said.

Gina Dedig, the assistant manager at the Ace Fix-It Hardware in Green Tree, says sales were off the hook Sunday with a storm of shoppers bracing for the snow, buying up the entire salt supply in just under 8 hours.

"Yesterday was a madhouse. We were selling salt about a thousand dollars an hour," Dedig said, adding, "If the bag was ripped, I discounted it and people took it anyway."

Supply chain issues also had an impact this weekend. Instead of 50 or 60, the Green Tree location can only order about a dozen items like shovels at a time, but there's a truck on the way to replenish these empty shelves and hooks.

Across town at Miller Ace Hardware in Mt. Oliver, owner Steve Miller still has salt and shovels in abundance, despite tripping sales on Sunday.

"I have five pallets of salt, two pallets of 50 calcium's and a 100 pallet of ice melt," Miller said.

And there's more on the way as people prepare for refreeze.

"I called from my bed this morning, seven o'clock this morning, my supplier, and ordered more calcium and shovels," said Miller.

His secret sauce for keeping the shelves stocked? Ordering ahead. Everything he sold this weekend came from a reserve he's been sitting on since the spring.

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