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Sleds become big sellers

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
The promise of snow usually triples the sales volume at Bernhardt Hardware in downtown Salisbury.
Mondayís snowfall was no different. The hardware store was ěslammed,î owner Paul Bernhardt said.
Demand for ice remover, snow shovels, kerosene heaters and, of course, sleds kept Bernhardt and his associates on their toes, serving customers who were preparing for the second major snowfall this winter.
ěThey were buying more sleds than anything else,î said Bernhardt, who sold hundreds in three days. ěWe are practically empty on sleds.î
At noon Monday, the only two he had left were pricey wood-and-metal models sitting in the store window.
A quick phone survey of dollar stores, farm supply stores, big box stores and grocery stores turned up not a single sled in town.
Bernhardt said he hopes to have more sleds Friday and plans to be open every day this week.
Bernhardtís was one of a handful of downtown stores open Monday.
ěOn the bright side, days like today offer opportunity to browse at places like Critters and Okey Dokey, short lines at Hapís, lots of books at the Bookpost with Cheerwine next door at Innes Street Drug or coffee or cocoa down the street at Tastebuds,î Randy Hemann, executive director for Downtown Salisbury Inc. said Monday.
Bread and milk supplies were holding up at area grocery stores.
ěWeíre OK right now,î said Roger Freeze, manager of the Food Lion at 251 Faith Road, on Monday. ěWeíre a little low, but they delivered this morning.î
Freeze said he expected another delivery of bread and milk today.
As of Monday, Walmart was out of ice melt, though the store still had heaters and kerosene, Manager Gary Sixkiller said.
ěWe were mobbed,î he said. ěIt was a madhouse here, especiallyî Sunday.
Some customers asked for snow shovels, which the Salisbury Walmart doesnít carry. Others have requested sleds, another cold-weather item this Walmart doesnít stock.
Sixkiller is trying to change that.
ěI think we would be able to sell them if we had some,î he said. ěOnce they get over initial shock of, ëOh, thereís snow,í they want to get out and enjoy it.î
Most of the Salisbury Mall was closed Monday, except for JCPenney, Belk, Big Lots and Dollar Tree, which all have exterior entrances and were open. Manager Steven Keels said he would decide this morning about a delay in opening. Shoppers can call 704-637-7467 to hear a message.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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