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Snow doubt about it: Retailers, consumers have had enough of spring snow

Newsday
By Tory N. Parrish

The recent snowfall is costing sales at restaurants and clothing stores, while providing little boost to hardware and grocery retailers.

Long Island is over it.

Snow fatigue has set in so deeply that four nor’easters in the last three weeks haven’t given a big boost to sales at hardware and grocery stores — businesses that tend to do well when snow is forecast, store managers said.

Spring officially began Tuesday, the day before 14.9 inches of snow fell at MacArthur Airport, and consumers are ready for warm weather to take its rightful place, retailers said.

Some business owners and managers said snow this late in March hasn’t sent customers scrambling to stores for shovels, milk and bread as would normally be the case.

“By this time of year, the people are pretty much over it,” said Dan Arthur, president of the Stew Leonard’s grocery chain’s East Meadow and East Farmingdale stores.

Before snowstorms, comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese and canned soup tend to sell well at the Norwalk, Connecticut-based grocery chain, which has six locations, in New York State and Connecticut.

“[Now] we see a little push when people realize they’re going to be in for a day or two. It’s not really that panic mentality that we have” early in the winter season, Arthur said.

Trio Hardware in Plainview would normally see strong sales of fertilizer, seeds, plants and other outdoor items this time of year as homeowners get their yards ready for warm days, but this month’s snowy weather has delayed those sales, co-owner Todd Kirschner said.

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