Nova Scotia

Halifax snowblower sales skyrocket, despite warm weather

Haligonians traumatized by last winter’s ice and snow are driving an unseasonable rush of snowblower sales.

Retailers say superstition and the trauma of last winter are behind the rush

Halifax sees an early rise in snowblower sales as residents worry about the coming winter. (CBC)

Haligonians traumatized by last winter's ice and snow are driving an unseasonable rush of snowblower sales.

"Pre-booking, pre-ordering, it's a frenzy right now," said Denise Forgeron, general manager of Maritime Lawn in Halifax. 

Forgeron said sales have increased since the height of summer. 

"It must have been 34 degrees out. It was one of those humid days in August, and I think we pre-sold eight snowblowers that day. I think one of my staff said, 'Is it snowing outside?'"

Paul Thompson of Pro Cycle in Dartmouth said his first shipment of Honda snowblowers hasn't even arrived yet, but they're already 70 per cent spoken for. 

"Normally we're talking about 25 units, and we're looking at about 100 this year," he said.

Weather omens

Thompson said customers are speaking forebodingly about weather omens. 

"Farmers are saying fruit's heavy in the tree, the crops are high, all sort of indicators in nature itself that this is going to be another winter like last year, maybe worse."

Thompson said that's all translating directly into snowblower sales.

"Fear. Who wants to be caught without one, right? You forget how long your driveway is until you forget to shovel it, right?"

Forgeron believes office talk could be adding to the urgency.

"Honestly, there's almost like a panic," she said. "I don't know if they're talking at the workplace, but people are coming in and saying, 'Do have your snowblowers? I want to put my name on one, I want to put a deposit.'"

"People remember the shovelling, and the too much shovelling that they did. So they want machines to do the work this year," she said. 

CBC meteorologist Kalin Mitchell said while he always recommends being prepared for heavy weather, there's no real way of telling how much snow we will get through the winter. 

"Even the best seasonal forecasts are usually about as accurate as a coin flip for the Maritimes," said Mitchell. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now