Hardware stores see booming business before ice storm

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - If you're looking for the busiest place in Cincinnati hours before an ice storm, Small's Hardware just might be it.

"Today has been steady because we have something to sell. A lot of places are out which is good for us," says owner Bernie Small. "Pretty much anything to do with melting ice because that is what the weather forecast is, an ice storm."

One-hundred bags of rock salt were gone in just one hour. Everyone is gearing up for the first round of ice this year.

"I think ice is much worse than snow.  You can shovel snow, you can't shovel ice," said Barbara Alexander, picking up a bag of ice melt for her walkways.

"People can slip and fall so I gotta make sure running an apartment complex that nobody gets hurt or anything like that," said Bill Huff. "I'm pretty good prepared and everything so I shouldn't have a problem."

For one of the only hardware stores with ice melt still on the shelves, it's a winter with a silver lining for Small's Hardware.

"It depends on how you look at it. It's a pretty harsh winter but for us, it's been better than most. Better than the ones we've had in the last four of five years so it's been good for us," says Small.

By the end of the day Tuesday, Small says he sold more than 500 bags of ice melt from just one location. He has now sold out of rock salt.

Another thing Small says most people will have trouble finding is heaters. Small says most places stop ordering heaters mid way through the winter because they don't think they will sell. Of course, this winter has been a lot different.

He says just be aware over the next few days if you are looking for salt or heaters, you may wind up empty handed.

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