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Bizarre winter weather: Good for business?

Published 12:30pm Friday, February 7, 2014

By GINNY COOPER/ Staff writer

After a winter of freezing temperatures coupled with a surprise snowfall in late January, many Shelby County businesses have felt the effects of the weather on their sales.

Many local business owners say the inclement weather can actually boost sales, despite the fact the Jan. 28 winter storm caused them to close for a few days due to icy roads.

Meghan Funk, owner and president of Funky Plumbing in Montevallo, said the company has been “extremely busy” this year.

The influx of calls for advice and repairs have been “like something we’ve never experienced before,” Funk said. “We didn’t sleep much.”

Grocery stores around the area experienced a similar rush of business. Wayne Johnsey, manager of Piggly Wiggly in Columbiana, said the cold weather and snow only helped business.

“We have been blessed with good business. The cold weather brings customers in instead of keeping them out,” Johnsey said.

As for what customers are buying, the “milk and bread” adage holds true.

“We get a double supply of bread every Tuesday, and we were essentially out by the end of the day,” Johnsey said.

Bill Davis, owner of Sav Mor Food Outlet in Calera, reported similarly good sales.

“We’re fortunate that it affects us in a good way—we’ve had real good sales,” Davis said.

Auto repair shops are also reaping the benefit of the storm, with the need for body repair increasing after the wrecks caused by the unexpected snow and ice on Jan. 28.

Lynn Johnson, owner of Lynn Johnson Collision Repair, who had more than $28,000 worth of damage done to his personal car during the storm, said the snow is very good for business.

“The cold and the rain, it’s all good for us,” he said. “Business is prosperous with the snow.”

Some car repair shops that do not offer body repair have suffered with the weather, Obie Moore, owner of Moore Brothers Automotive in Montevallo, said.

Moore’s business had to close Tuesday and Wednesday due to the snow and ice, and he said this and other elements have caused the shop to have a “lackluster winter.”

“You just roll with it and keep going,” Moore said.

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