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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane stores are well-prepared for heat wave comparable to last year’s

Carl Rocha, left, and Patrick Plummer, with Bills Heating & A/C Install air conditioning and a new furnace at a home on East Wabash Street, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. With temperatures forecast to exceed 100 degrees by Sunday, a rush of customers are keeping local A/C installers busy.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Carly Dykes The Spokesman-Review

Thanks to last year’s historic heat wave, hardware store owners say they’re well stocked with fans, air conditioners and other items that will help customers through this week’s triple-digit temperatures.

“We have ordered in advance. We have everything in stock right now, air conditioners, fans and even swamp coolers,” said Ron Wilson, the manager of the General Store.

Wilson said there has been a decline in air conditioner and fan sales this year in comparison to last year when there was a record-breaking heat wave.

Many stores throughout Spokane sold out of fans and air conditioners during last year’s intense heat. This year, stores have been stocked in preparation for the kind of demand they experienced last year.

Even so, Wilson said many people wait until the last minute to purchase adequate equipment to stay cool.

He noticed that Tuesday, with the latest heat wave underway, customers are preparing for the rest of the week.

Larry Myers, owner of River Ridge Hardware, stocked his store in preparation for a hot summer.

“We’ll try to stay up on it and an order ahead of time, which then makes me, the owner, sometimes nervous because I’m sitting on a bunch of stock,” he said. “It’s kind of like a farmer being dependent on the weather.”

Last year, Myers sold 30 air conditioner units, while sale numbers for cooling appliances hadn’t broken 10 in any year prior.

It’s not just conventional cooling equipment that the General Store and River Ridge Hardware are stockpiling. They both have experienced an uptick in demand for pool items.

“We have a lot of fun stuff for getting outside in the water,” Wilson said. “We have all of the inflatable tubes for river floats and we have got a lot of stuff for tubing behind the boats, a lot of kayaks, a lot of inflatable boats.”

Likewise, Myer estimates having around 100 miniature plastic pools in stock.

“I think we are perfectly set,” Wilson said.