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Snow helps drive sales for west coast businesses

The provincial government is enticing residents to get out and enjoy winter with a set of new tourism ads.
The provincial government is enticing residents to get out and enjoy winter with a set of new tourism ads.

If you’re in the business of selling snowmobiles, snowblowers and other winter items there’s one thing that brings in the customers.

“It takes snow to get people moving,” said Craig Borden, owner of Rugged Edge in Corner Brook.

Borden said sales of snowmobiles and accessories started taking off in December and are continuing, leading to a pretty good season so far.

But he has seen a bit of switch in buying patterns that he attributes to last season, when some rainy periods resulted in poor riding conditions.

“I think a lot of the people didn’t buy the stuff they needed in March and April and they came in and bought it in December to be ahead of the game.”

He’s also seeing a bit of an age shift in terms of who buys and when. Normally it’s the young people who are excited to hit the trails early on, with seasoned riders waiting until January or February when conditions are good. With the snowfall that has tended to stick the seasoned riders have been “more eager to go” this year and customers he’d normally see in January and February were in before Christmas, he said.

As for snowblower sales, Borden said they are on par with other years, and big snowfalls bring out the buyers.

Steve Thomas, a salesperson at Twin Peaks Motorsports in Corner Brook, agrees with that.

“If we did get a really bad storm we’d be crazy again the next day,” Thomas said.

With the continuous snowfall, snowblower sales are picking up, he said.

In the area of snowmobiles, Thomas said sales started early and have been good. He attributed it to a new machine, which has boosted sales about 20 per cent.

Thomas expects sales in all areas will continue into March, and then Twin Peaks will switch its focus to outboard motors for the upcoming fishing season.

March seems to be the month that signals the end of the winter sales season.

“If you haven’t got it sold by March, you’re going to be walking around it in July,” said Dave Callahan of Central Service Station in Port au Port, where the snowmobile business is booming.

While traditionally the bulk of retail was done by Christmas, Callahan said, the market has changed and now the business is pretty much split 50/50 before Christmas and after.

He said there are still some customers who will “chase the clearance deal” after Christmas, or those who will wait it out to see what the winter will be like.

“Snow is a stimulus that promotes the purchase,” Callahan said. “You’re not really thinking snowmobile while you’re walking around raking up the leaves.”

“It takes snow to get people moving,” said Craig Borden, owner of Rugged Edge in Corner Brook.

Borden said sales of snowmobiles and accessories started taking off in December and are continuing, leading to a pretty good season so far.

But he has seen a bit of switch in buying patterns that he attributes to last season, when some rainy periods resulted in poor riding conditions.

“I think a lot of the people didn’t buy the stuff they needed in March and April and they came in and bought it in December to be ahead of the game.”

He’s also seeing a bit of an age shift in terms of who buys and when. Normally it’s the young people who are excited to hit the trails early on, with seasoned riders waiting until January or February when conditions are good. With the snowfall that has tended to stick the seasoned riders have been “more eager to go” this year and customers he’d normally see in January and February were in before Christmas, he said.

As for snowblower sales, Borden said they are on par with other years, and big snowfalls bring out the buyers.

Steve Thomas, a salesperson at Twin Peaks Motorsports in Corner Brook, agrees with that.

“If we did get a really bad storm we’d be crazy again the next day,” Thomas said.

With the continuous snowfall, snowblower sales are picking up, he said.

In the area of snowmobiles, Thomas said sales started early and have been good. He attributed it to a new machine, which has boosted sales about 20 per cent.

Thomas expects sales in all areas will continue into March, and then Twin Peaks will switch its focus to outboard motors for the upcoming fishing season.

March seems to be the month that signals the end of the winter sales season.

“If you haven’t got it sold by March, you’re going to be walking around it in July,” said Dave Callahan of Central Service Station in Port au Port, where the snowmobile business is booming.

While traditionally the bulk of retail was done by Christmas, Callahan said, the market has changed and now the business is pretty much split 50/50 before Christmas and after.

He said there are still some customers who will “chase the clearance deal” after Christmas, or those who will wait it out to see what the winter will be like.

“Snow is a stimulus that promotes the purchase,” Callahan said. “You’re not really thinking snowmobile while you’re walking around raking up the leaves.”

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