If locals went to the store in need of a shovel, bread or ice melt recently, it’s likely they went home empty handed.

If locals went to the store in need of a shovel, bread or ice melt recently, it’s likely they went home empty handed.
The threat of two severe snow storms worried shoppers enough to stock up on these items within the last week. Many businesses in McPherson County were left with minimal supplies or empty shelves.
McPherson Wal-Mart general manager Michael Wilde said the store tripled its usual business sales Sunday. Add this to Friday’s boost in sales, and many of the store’s shelves lay bare.
Staple items, including produce, bread, milk and eggs were gone. Also vacant from the racks for about one week were snow shovels, sleds and salt. The shovels were left over from two years of slow sales, but flew from the shelves in two days.
Although Wilde said supplies were back in Monday, the shortage resulted from an inability of travel for supply trucks from the storms a few days before.
“We definitely had an influx of business, which was good and challenging at the same time,” he said.
Sheila Lowrie, media relations manager for Dillon Stores, said customers went for milk, bread, eggs, beef, potatoes, bananas, and winter comfort food, such as chili and soup.
“Overall we did see a record weekend,” she said. “It felt like Christmas as customers were preparing for the snow storm.”
Scott Achenbach, owner of Scott’s Hometown Foods in Lindsborg, said his sales echoed the same pattern. He has run out of bread and milk twice in the last week, both before the storms were expected to blow in.
Compared to other large storms, Achenbach said snow threats usually bring the most sales.
“For some reason with a snow scare, people always think they need to load up on bread and milk,” he said. “The whole store looks like we had a really good week.”
Overall, customers did not seem panicked but were buying more than usual.
“The threat of the storm helps our business more than the actual storm does,” he said. “Once it hits, it actually goes the other way for a day or two.”
Ron Robben, store manager at Graber’s Ace Hardware, said ice melt and snow shovels have flown off the shelves.
Following the sales from last week’s storm, the racks were filled Saturday with about three dozen shovels, only to be sold out again several hours later. Wheat scoops were gone soon after as well.
Trudie Burns of McPherson was in the store Monday afternoon to buy whatever the store had available. Her  old shovel broke recently, but she was forced to replace it with a garden shovel.
Robben said ice melt also was sold out at Ace by Sunday afternoon.
“We were sitting on old inventory until all of the sudden people are looking for supplies,” Robben said.
He expects to be restocked on Tuesday, depending on weather conditions.
Rick Bressie, manager at Home Tire and Turf, said his snow blower sales have skyrocketed. He had 45 to begin the winter season and had only three or four as of Monday afternoon, with the influx beginning Thursday.
He also reported a slight increase in tire replacements due to low grip on icy roads.
“It’s been incredibly good,” he said. “They (snow blowers) have been flying out the door. This storm has been great for me.”

Contact Jenae Pauls at jenae.pauls@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow her on Twitter @PaulsSentinel