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Winter Weather Slams Retailers, Including Pet Businesses

Many stores have had to close temporarily.

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Winter Storm Uri A crash amid severe winter weather led to the closure of Northbound Interstate 75 in Richmond, KY, on Tuesday. The weather has caused problems for retailers in many states. Source: Instagram/richmondkypolice

Winter weather is taking a toll on retailers, including pet businesses, in many areas as millions of homes and businesses remain without power.

“We’ve had an ice storm and a snow storm and now another ice storm is coming tomorrow night,” Sarah Stewart, owner of Southern Barker in Lexington, KY, said on Tuesday. “We haven’t been open all week due to the roads being so bad. Luckily we have had power through this so far! There were a few days it wasn’t safe to open but one of us had to run to the store to receive our shipments from Frontier or ASC. It’s been crazy.”

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Jamie Tucker of Fur Babies in Kingwood, TX, said her store was without power.

“Yesterday we were closed because of the roads but we transferred our store phones to our cell phones so we could take orders,” Tucker said. “We’ve been working from home taking phone and internet orders. Today we went to our store and loaded up everything and drove around making deliveries so our customers didn’t have to get out.

“We also ordered a bunch of dry ice to keep all our frozen food frozen. Crossing fingers we get power back on tomorrow so we can get back to grooming and open the store.”

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Holly Montgomery of Tail Blazers – Legacy in Calgary, Alberta, said her business “had a few days where the locks on our store doors almost didn’t lock!!”

“And we’re in Canada where we’re used to cold weather,” she said. “It was so cold!”

Montgomery also noted: “Our raw food companies couldn’t make food because it was too cold to transport animals (illegal). And the hydraulics on the trucks stopped working.”

Winter Storm Uri has devastated much of the South and parts of the Midwest and is expected to bring heavy snow and ice to the Northeast Tuesday night, CNN reports. Many regions have reported record low temperatures, and Weather.com reports that at least 17 deaths have been tied to the storm.

And more problems are likely on the way. The National Weather Service stated: “Another bout of significant winter weather is slated for Tuesday through Thursday across portions of the South, Lower to Mid Mississippi Valley, and Lower Ohio Valley.”

The U.S. retail sector could see a February slowdown as a result of the winter storms and other factors, including the end of the stimulus spending, MarketWatch reports. Both in-store spending and e-commerce delivery schedules are being negatively affected. Wells Fargo analysts stated: “We’d also note that late-February is normally when retailers begin flowing in receipts of Spring merchandise to stores, so cold/snowy weather may mean a delayed start to Spring demand.”

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More than 450 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations in Texas and other states were temporarily closed due to the weather as of midday Tuesday, CNBC reported.

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