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Businesses having mixed results in cold winter

Rochester, N.Y. -- The long, harsh winter has sent a lot of people into survival mode and into hardware stores. 

Its been crazy but in a good way, for business its been really busy, selling a lot of salt, shovels, anything cold weather related, said Dennis McCarthy, general manager of the Mayer Ace Hardware store on North Winton Road.

McCarthy said business has never been better.

When you see extended times of really cold temperature that when pipes burst more, everything starts to shake, McCarthy said. Weve been lucky. Weve been able to keep everything in stock.

Nationally, Ace Hardware stores have had the highest shovel and snow blower sales the company has seen in more than a decade.

McCarthy said the same is true locally.

In the last decade, this has been one of the more busy winters, he said.

From space heaters to sleds, the cold and snowy weather has kept bringing in business.

"Snow blowers are big," McCarthy said. "The more people have to shovel, the less they want to.

For other businesses, clearing the snow is just about the only thing thats keeping them busy.

Its been slow," said Brian Raskind, sales manager at Randall Buick GMC Cadillac in Canandaigua. "My guys are all very tired and waiting for winter to finally be over."

While its the weather that has kept many customers off the lot, Raskind said his team spends a lot of time outside.

We go out, push all the snow off the cars, we key the cars all up, we move them, we plow and put them back sometimes," he said. "That happens a couple, three times a week."

The nations top automakers blame the winter for falling sales.

Fords February sales dropped 6.1 percent from last year, with Toyota down 4 percent and General Motors down 1 percent.

The winter does take a lot out of the business when its this cold, Raskind said, Do you want to be outside when its 5 degrees outside?

If its not a necessity and its not online, Raskind said people just arent buying.

If you dont need a vehicle, youre going to wait until the weather is nice, he said. 

Raskind said because the dealership website has been active, he hopes business will bounce back in the spring and the slow start won't be any of indication sales for the rest of the year.

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Washington Times