Shovels and snow blowers are in short supply as the winter that won't end winds down, but deals for grills, lawnmowers and other spring things abound.

Shovels and snow blowers are in short supply as the winter that won't end winds down, but deals for grills, lawnmowers and other spring things abound.

If you don't have some basic winter supplies or are running out, good luck finding them at area stores. ThisWeek called three Hilliard hardware stores last week to see what was still in stock.

"We have a few snow blowers, and that's all we got," Sarah Anderson, assistant store manager of the Home Depot at 4101 Trueman Blvd. "We are out of shovels. We are out of Ice Melt. We have a little bit of rock salt, and that's about it. We do have some car scrapers. We do have some windshield washer fluid."

"We are back in stock now on snow shovels and hats and gloves, which we were out of earlier in the week," said Anthony Oliveri, administrative manager of the Lowes at 3600 Park Mill Run Drive.

He was expecting a shipment of salt, and had plenty of scrapers.

"We're not sure if we're going to see snow throwers," Oliveri said. "We don't have any of those yet. That one we're still working with our vendors on, but we don't know if we're going to see those again. Those, because they're such a limited production run, and so much of the back stock that our warehouses had all got shipped out to the mid-Atlantic to help those poor guys because they got so hammered.

"The company is still trying, but we're not holding our breath on that one," he said.

Last week, the Sears Hardware Store on 2575 Hilliard Rome Road had received a shipment of three snow blowers, and they were gone within two hours, according to an employee who declined to be identified. They were out of regular snow shovels, although they did have some small shovels to carry in car trunks, two long scrapers, 30 gallons of windshield washer fluid and 120 10-pound bags of rock salt.

There's still snow on the ground and February is turning into one of the snowiest on record, but in the retail world, spring is what's in the stores.

"We have our patio furniture out and on display right now," Anderson said. "It's kind of the end of the (winter) season for us. So unless we get another major weather event, we probably will not get another shovel truck."

Inventory is based on last year's numbers, she said.

"We just went through that more quickly than normal this year," Anderson said. "It has been a lot more snow throwers than normal that we've sold, a lot more shovels. It's probably due to all the snow that we've had this year."

Customer demand is highest when the weather is at its worst.

"It always comes in one big rush," Oliveri said. "We get one snowstorm, and everybody rushes in. We get stocked back up. It's pretty much normal for us."

"Usually it's about the day before a storm is supposed to hit, until right all the way through the storm," Anderson said of shoppers for snow and ice removal supplies. "People don't tend to plan ahead very well."