Even with increased sales, COVID-19 weighs on hardware and appliance stores
Some Moffat County hardware and appliance stores are feeling the effects of COVID-19 even as they see an increase in sales overall for the year.
Chris Miller and Miller Family Appliances are contending with the store being forced to shut down due to a potential positive COVID-19 test among staff. Miller said the closure has resulted in lost income this week.
“No sales period, people can’t come in, no income for the next three or four days,” he said. Miller also said that they have to wait until the employee’s tests come back negative for business to continue in person. Overall, though, this year has seen sales up for the family owned business. The appliance store also experienced good sales of washers and dryers this past weekend, Miller added.
Big O Tires owner Travis Wondra said factors outside of COVID-19 have impacted the business recently. The weekend after Thanksgiving was slow for the company, and the dry weather recently has dinged sales as well.
“50 degrees in November doesn’t generally promote snow tire sales,” he said.
At the Murdoch’s nearby, manager Lee Anne Schmid kept it simple in regards to how the weekend went. “Really good,” she said, adding that the retail store sold a lot of clothing following Thanksgiving. Schmid estimated that Murdoch’s generated about $70,000 in sales over the weekend.
The co-owner of MJK Ace, Blaine Kawcak said most of their post-Thanksgiving sales were holiday-related — and up over the same time last year, “Christmas, decorations, lights, trees, stuff like that,” he said.
At Samuelson, employee Erica Fowler said they regularly make their most money on lumber and the same was true for this past weekend, with about 300 sales on Saturday alone.
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A decrease in commuting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow down business for Precision Auto Service. In fact, the shop was busier than before, and business hasn’t slowed down yet.