“They’re asking ‘should I order now? Should I get four shovels?’ We had a lady in here the other day ready to buy four shovels and all the salt we had,” said Home Depot employee Wesley Rafail.
Many consumers are worried about how interruptions in the global supply chain will affect their access to certain products, but the manager of Home Depot says it is not yet affecting the supply of shovels, salt and snow blowers.
“No concerns other than people have been shopping earlier this year, even before snow hits the ground,” Marilyn Veon said.
When asked why customers are shopping early, Veon responded, “there’s shipping issues across the country, but being in Cleveland, people like to stockpile and get ready because we never know what we’re getting.”
Anticipating a run on items like shovels and salt once the snow starts to fall, Home Depot is stocking up on those items at its stores in Northeast Ohio.
Down the street, the owner of East 200th Hardware in Euclid says he always tries to order winter supplies in the summer, and that strategy may pay off if the supply chain issues slow down his access to items that will soon be in high demand.
“Sometimes we run out during the season because of heavy snow, so that’s the only reason we get it early. One guy bought five bags already. I took to his house a week ago and he doesn’t have a car, but he likes to have a clear driveway,” said John Piskur.
It is the fear of the Cleveland winter that will drive demand.
“It just depends if we get hit bad or not. This year, the woollybear had a lot of orange in it. I think that means a mild winter,” said Piskur with a laugh.