Mild winter weather affecting seasonal businesses

EMBED </>More Videos

So far, 2016 is beginning pretty much the same way 2015 ended: with the occasional chance for light precipitation. (WLS)

So far, 2016 is beginning pretty much the same way 2015 ended: with the occasional chance for light precipitation.

"We've had frequent dusting, icing events that have kept our salters busy, but we've only had about three plowing events to date," says Tim Gibbons, owner of The Snow Innovators, a snow plow company based in Wheeling.

Gibbons says typically at this point in the season, they would have plowed a half dozen more times. In fact, he's only deployed his full fleet of 45 trucks once, during the after-Christmas freezing snow that snarled traffic at the airports.

While many of us may dread seeing lots of snow in the forecast, Gibbons' business profits off of weather events. There just don't see to be any in the near future.

"After 30 years, the panic gets stifled a little bit because Mother Nature has a tremendous ability to balance herself out," Gibbons says.

In the winter of 2014-2015, Chicago saw a cold November, mild December and ultimately a snowy February. Gibbons says this winter seems to be repeating that pattern, so he's hoping to see his revenue increase next month.

"We're not hitting the panic button," he says.

Neither is Alan Gillman, who owns ace hardware in Bucktown.

He still has plenty of shovels and salt in his store. Last year, it was a challenge keeping them in stock.

"The good thing about salt and shovels is that they don't spoil. So we can keep them over for the next year," Gillman says.

He says the good news is that people are buying merchandise other than winter supplies, but they could benefit from more seasonal weather.

"Business wise, the cold weather will help us. I'm sure."

Historically, February is Chicago's snowiest month so there's still potential for winter item sales to tick up in the future. It's also been known to snow in March.
Related Topics:
businesswinterbusinessWheelingChicago - Bucktown
(Copyright ©2017 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments