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Home improvement projects keep some area stores busy

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- As some businesses face an up-hill battle to get back to normal, others around town are seeing a jump start.

Area hardware stores and nurseries are seeing an increase in activity the last few weeks as people staying at home are looking for something to do. Many have decided this is the perfect time to tackle those home improvement projects.

"Pressure washers are big, generators are picking up, lawnmowers, Stihl products," said Josh Shipton, Northern Tool & Equipment Senior Assistant Store Manager. "Stihl products have been our number one seller the last two weeks, it's hard to keep up on them."

"A lot of outside projects, especially now with the weather getting nicer," said Shipton. "I know this weekend we had a lot of outdoor stuff going out. Saturday was a beautiful day and everyone wanted to be outside."

"We opened April 22nd, on Earth Day, and since then we've been nonstop busy," said Molly McGinnis, Greenwood Plant Manager.

So what are people working on?

"Right now the big uptick is in gardening, like vegetable gardening. Tomatoes, peppers, lots and lots of herbs. People are just stuck at home and they want to cook and do their own food," said McGinnis.

"Washing cars, redoing their decks, siding, doing yard maintenance with trimmers, lawnmowers, pruning some trees, stuff like that," said Shipton.

And all that activity is good for business.

"We've had days we've done double our normal sales numbers," said Shipton. "I know the ACE Hardware down in Spring Valley where I live they've been busy as well. I've talked to other store managers in the company, everyone's just been busy."

"Busy hands are happy hands,' said McGinnis. "So a lot of people just want to stay busy instead of being at their computers all day, they want to do something where they can see the end result."

Keeping with distancing recommendations, both businesses are offering curbside pick up on orders.

Sarah Gannon

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