Cooler Temperatures Turn Up the Heat at Local Businesses

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By Brittany Bivins

People across Alabama are getting ready for winter weather. And for a lot of them, that means a little extra shopping. Now local businesses say they're ready for the crowds.

That includes home improvement stores like Lowe's in Montgomery, where cold weather necessities like portable heaters, are hot commodities. Assistant Manager Joey Hyde says he's seen a big increase in traffic since the cold snap."They're preparing, I mean, they're making sure that their propane tanks are full, they're making sure all their supply lines, their pipes are protected with pipe covering, making sure they have enough firewood," he said.

He's talking about people like Jimmy Norman, who says the chilly temperatures sent him searching. "We need a fireplace cover, so we can have a fire and then my wife was like, try to get some of those duraflame logs, in case it gets chilly," he said.

However, it's not just about the necessities. Shoppers are also stocking up on things they want. For most people, that means spending a little extra on scarves, sweaters, jeans and jackets. At Sikes and Kohn Country Mall in Pike Level, business is booming.

"We're just looking for anything that will fit into our budgets and keep us warm this winter," said Holly Carter, who was shopping for her family. "Plus, it reminds me that I have to start my Christmas list."

No matter what the reason, businesses owners and managers we spoke to say they're ready for the extra activity. "Anytime you have anything to do with the weather, it's really great for business. You just have to be prepared. Preparation is the key for everything," said Hyde.

Store managers say the first cold snap of the year also sends people searching for early holiday supplies, which also helps drive bigger crowds.