Ron Whitehurst at Andalusia Cash and Carry eyes empty pipe fitting bins Thursday after this week’s frigid weather.
Ron Whitehurst at Andalusia Cash and Carry eyes empty pipe fitting bins Thursday after this week’s frigid weather.

Cold weather boosts business at hardware stores

Published 12:00am Friday, January 10, 2014

While the majority of the county disliked this week’s frigid winter weather, at least two area business groups were booming because of it.

Temperatures dropped into the teens at the first part of the week, and beginning Tuesday and Wednesday morning, a number of locals awoke to frozen and broken water pipes.

For those at Andalusia Cash and Carry and Breedlove Building Supply, that meant big business.

“Any other time this week if you came in, you’d see a line of 30 people or so,” said Ron Whitehurst at Andalusia Cash and Carry. “It was like a madhouse in here. As soon as people knew the cold was coming, they began to prepare. As soon as the pipes began to bust, they were in here getting pipe.”

Whitehurst said the store experienced about three times the number of customers than on a normal winter day.

“We’re just about sold out of pipe fittings, insulation and pipe covers,” he said. “We’re just thankful that the cold snap was only for two days instead of two weeks. No matter how much business it brings in, we just hate to see our friends and neighbors suffering.”

At Breedlove, assistant manager Dewayne Williamson said it was the same situation at his store.

“It was way busier than a normal January day,” Williamson said of business. “It started with pipe insulation. Then, when the pipes began to thaw out, it was fittings, glue and more pipe.

“The thing about cold weather is, we don’t like to see it, and we don’t to see people with busted pipes because we don’t want to get customers that way,” he said. “It’s kind of like a hurricane, too. We don’t like them, but they are good for business.”

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