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Snow means big business for winter suppliers

PORTLAND (WGME) -- When all that snow piles up, so does the cash, at local stores that sell your winter supplies.

"I'm glad it's still coming," said Gary Whitmore of Aubuchon Hardware. "We can traditionally be slow if there isn't any store-related business."

Aubuchon Hardware can barely keep the supplies on the shelves before calling in for a restock.

"Very busy with the storm this past week and yesterday," Whitmore said. "All the winter-related items - ice melt, shovels and sleds are going out the door."

Over at Maine Hardware, it's the same story. Snow translates to "dough" for them too.

"We're weather-dependent," said Phil Villandry of Maine Hardware. "The snowstorms and ice storms we see increased sales. When we have bad weather, people need to get prepared for the snow and the ice."

The number one winter seller? Calcium chloride. The stores say they sell a few thousand pounds of it a week.

James Williamson is back for more of it for his home.

"Hundreds might be stretching it," he said. "But, you know, maybe not. Maybe $200? Maybe I consciously try not to keep track of it because each time it's a moderate purchase."

And, all those purchases add up - creating a hefty profit for retailers in the winter.