Winter Supplies In High Demand, Tulsa Retailers Say

Sunday, March 2nd 2014, 12:44 am
By: Dave Davis

This winter storm is a blessing for some businesses and a problem for others.

It's been a tough winter for bike shops like "Trek" in South Tulsa.

But less than a week ago, things were looking up.

"People came out of the woodwork," Steve Palmer said. "We had lots of business and it kind of helped us because it's been pretty slow lately."

It turns out that warm spell last week was just a teaser and as the weather is about to turn icy, only the hardiest of cyclists are still hitting the trails.

"We've been holding out and holding out ...waiting for that warm weather to come," Palmer said. "There are some brave people who get out and ride no matter what the weather's like. We applaud that and we support that."

There are winter activities you can do at bike shops: Taking inventory, building bikes, and selling indoor trainers, but really it's... it's a lot like farming, you know, we just kind of watch the weather. Sometimes it's an early spring, but spring is usually what we look for."

For local hardware stores like Best Hardware and owner Greg Welborn it's an entirely different story.

Their spring things, like lawn care items, are still in the back of the store because his customers are still in winter weather mode.

"I think everybody's tired of it and ready to get on with the spring, but you know this is Oklahoma and this is the first of March, so we've got a ways to go yet," Greg Welborn said.

Their hottest selling items have been ice melt and space heater.

Welborn says they were out of them a couple weeks ago, following the winter weather mess in Atlanta.

He said that storm is still putting a little squeeze on the heater supply.

"So a lot of suppliers were shipping all their things there...that kind of left a void," Welborn said. "So basically everybody was out of heaters and that kind of stuff."

Either way, they said they are stocked and ready for whatever comes next.

We talked to managers of Reasor's grocery store -- they say they should keep their stores fully stocked through the storm.

Again, crews will use this salt tonight around midnight, and snow plows are ready to roll.