Last week brought to us in Wilkes, the anticipation of snow. What we did not realize at that time was the impact of the coming winter storm. When in conversation with my brother in law, who works for the National Weather Service, he used the words “Epic Snow Storm” , and “this will a Storm people would talk about for years to come… ” I began to let the impact of this storm to settle into my mind. Preparation would be key. Richard & I began to evaluate our current winter weather supplies & those items that were blowing off the shelves early in the week.
Customers flooded into Wilkes County Hardware beginning about Tuesday of last week in preparation of the upcoming winter storm, daily sales had increased.
Knowing the storm was going to settle into our area by the weekend, we had already processed the timeline of our regularly scheduled truck shipment… it would not be here until after the storm had passed😳. The real possibility of the truck not showing up on our regular delivery day was looming in our minds as well, if the “Epic winter storm” was as bad as my brother in law had said it could be.
These are the worries of local merchants… planning for unpredictable weather and its impact on how you do business each & everyday. Mother Nature is unpredictable.. you can’t always plan for these types of events, but keeping a close eye on your inventory is key during peak weather months.
Richard was evaluating our store stock/supplies daily and we realized quickly that we needed a “stock boost” to get us through the storm. Richard & I talked back and forth about how much of each item we might need, trying to not overbuy for this event, which would tie up inventory dollars. So we submitted an order to our local supplier and another truck arrived Friday.
Once that shipment showed up, people were buying items off the truck immediately! The news of the winter weather was becoming evident to most people… they were planning for a huge storm.
Wilkes was predicted to be in the heaviest snow zones- at least 12 inches or more!!! Our hardware store was slammed with customers on Friday and Saturday!
Our local news station, WXII, called on Friday morning saying they were planning to stop by our store. Richard gave them a great interview and made it on the local news Friday night. I was so tickled to see him represent our store so beautifully.
The sweetness of my husband showed as he spoke about “our store”. (Even though I am not there everyday, and I hold another full time job as a teacher.)
He made sure to tell the local news crew that he was not the sole owner of Wilkes County Hardware. Sometimes it is the simple things that make you appreciate & love your spouse- after 20 plus years of marriage.
After the store closed Friday evening, we decided to make our winter storm preparations complete by filling up the car with gas, last trip to grocery store, etc. Richard’s phone began to message in from lots of people who saw him on the news.
What we didn’t expect was the range of our local impact would be! He heard from friends across the US who were seeing him on local broadcasts across the nation. Evidently the Weather Channel picked up a segment of his interview. By Saturday morning, our store front was on the Today Show in a brief segment on the upcoming storm!!
This news arrived to me as I was out walking on the Greenway, with my friend, when Richard called me to say we had made it on the Today Show! I was blown away. Here we were just carrying on with our routines, of a normal Saturday … he was already at work & I was to be there to help at the store, after I had finished my morning walk.
As customers came in all day Saturday, the conversation around the warm wood stove was of course the coming snow storm , Christmas shopping, and Richard’s tv appearances.
The guys helped every customer, each with their own unique needs. Demand had been so intense all week, that we were now out of stock in some items. So our staff made recommendations to those customers who needed help finding the items they still needed for winter storm prep.
Saturday was an awesome day, not because it was a great selling day, but the closeness of our community. We saw so many of our loyal customers arrive with flashlights 🔦 that needed batteries or bulbs, & requests of last minute items for storm prep. Our staff worked to make each a every customer happy.
What a great community we live in!!! We had cookies 🍪 delivered to us, and great friends brought in lunch snacks!!! Richard & I are definitely blessed beyond measure.
It was so awesome to see our friends & customers gather at the wood stove for conversation and smiles. This is why I love snow days!! ⛄️❄️
(By the way, we received over 15 inches of snow here Saturday night/Sunday!) Yes, in my book, it was an “Epic Storm” for us in Wilkes County Hardware History.