Local hardware store sees sales spike amid pandemic, now struggles to keep shelves stocked

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– When the pandemic began, Joe Losh at Consumers Hardware in Springfield says he saw a huge influx of customers.

 “I think the timing of it just kind of hit all of the springtime things that people were wanting to do at home and that’s why it escalated like it did…I think a lot of people were getting paid to stay at home and looking around the house for projects to get done and it just happened to fall in this category.”

Losh has owned Consumer’s on North Glenstone for three years. He says he sold more rakes in the past 4 months than all his time as the store’s owner.

“Gardening was huge. We had a lot of people wanting gardening supplies this year, seeds, rakes, shovels, stuff like that.”  

But with more demand and the ongoing pandemic, Losh says he struggling to keep shelves stocked.

“We’ve struggled to try to get products that are either getting held up by closed borders or products that aren’t made yet just because of such a high demand…We haven’t been able to get canning supplies for probably two months now. We were wiped out and not able to get our hands on them.” 

Losh says it’s been a rollercoaster of business spikes and valleys while waiting for more inventory. However, one thing that has helped business since the pandemic is a newfound appreciation for shopping local.

 “We honestly saw an increase in people that didn’t want to go to the bigger box stores and wanted to go to a locally-owned place that wanted to get in, get their stuff, and get out. We had a lot of customers come in and state that they wanted to support locally owned businesses and (were) thanking us every day that we’re still here.”

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