Hardware stores help out | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hardware stores help out

Charles Sizemore

The Angora fire swept through the South Shore last week, burning 3,100 acres and destroying or damaging hundreds of homes. As residents look to make temporary repairs to damaged homes, or rebuild destroyed ones, they and their contractors will naturally look to local hardware stores for supplies.

Some area hardware stores have already seen higher sales of certain items, and are offering discounts to residents whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by the fire.

Buzz Bera, sales manager at Meeks Lumber and Hardware, 2763 Lake Tahoe Blvd., said the store has offered discounts to some of the contractors and carpenters who have lost power tools and hand tools. They have also offered a contractor’s discount to people who have come in for supplies in order to make temporary repairs to their damaged houses.

Meeks is not seeing any run on any particular item right now, as the Red Cross has been providing people with shovels, rakes, gloves and water for free.

“We have donated masks and that sort of thing (to the Red Cross),” Bera said.

Bera also mentioned that some of the store’s suppliers have spoken to them about offering “assistance” — the nature of the assistance has not been discussed — for people rebuilding their homes.

Over at Scotty’s Hardware, 1931 Lake Tahoe Blvd., there has not been a great demand for any particular items. They have also donated items to the Red Cross. Robert Cosmi, manager, said that when his customers whose homes have been affected by he fire come in, he has sold them items on discount, at cost and even given things away.

“We’ve been trying to take care of them … whatever way we can help them without capitalizing on the situation,” Cosmi said.

According to Tom Snauffer, manager at Nel’s Hardware, 1050 Fremont Ave., the store saw a run on preventative supplies such as hoses, nozzles and sprinklers while the fire was raging.

Since then, they have been stocking up on cleaning supplies, such as heavy-duty garbage bags.

Although Nel’s doesn’t have any formal plans for discounts for people whose houses were damaged or destroyed, owner Jeff Swigard will be at the store on Thursday to discuss exactly that.

Ultimately, hardware stores won’t know what to expect in terms of demand until the actual rebuilding begins, which probably won’t happen until next year.

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