Without the snow business is slow

Snowblower sales hit a wall at Schaefer's Indiana Turf once winter hit and the snow didn't.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) So far it’s been a slow winter for some businesses looking to make a profit off of the snow.

“The overall start of the season was really good,” Schaefer’s Indiana Turf owner Ryan Schaefer said about snowblower sales.

The strong start in October came to a screeching halt for the small business once winter hit and it didn’t bring the key ingredient – snow.

“It kind of died off obviously without having any snow,” Schaefer said.

It’s a different story than the one that played out all last winter with 19 inches of snow in February alone.

“Last year if it had a motor and it did somewhat throwing snow it sold,” Schaefer said.

That hasn’t been the story this winter, but it doesn’t necessarily mean sales are down.  Every winter Schaefer’s sets a goal to sell 130 snowblowers and this season they’ve sold about 150. However, it’s not the people of northeast Indiana buying all the snowblowers. Schaefer said online sales make up about 30 percent of their small business. The store recently shipped more than 50 snowblowers to New York and that’s not the only place they’re sending them.

“Everywhere there is snow, so if it’s not here it’s New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,” Schaefer said. “We’ve even shipped up into the Wisconsin market as well. We’ve even done a few up in the Seattle market.”

So what do they do with the extra snowblowers? When the snow isn’t deep you can bet the discounts are.

“Most customer needs a snowblower so we normally work them into deals. It’s a great time to buy when the snow’s not out sometimes we need to get rid of them, but it helps us sell lawnmowers too in our peak season,” Schaefer said.

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