By Michael Boriero
The winter season has arrived in Quebec, which means ski shops are preparing to receive an influx of tune ups on skis and snowboards, as well as fulfilling orders on new materials and products for customers ranging from beginner to advanced.
However, according to Jason Patry, a manager at Sports Adam in Sherbrooke, the weather has stalled a typically busy time of year for ski shops. With a lack of snow on the ground, and inconsistent temperatures, Patry said his boutique hasn’t been swarmed by customers yet.
“Right now it’s a little bit slower than usual, but I think as soon as we get a little bit of snow everyone is going to come to the boutique,” said Patry, adding it’s like changing winter tires, once the snow begins to stick around permanently, people will start to flood ski shops.
Quebecers are eager to get out on the ski hills, he continued, since the health measures in place right now are slightly more relaxed compared to last January when people were forced to keep a distance and wear a ski mask. They feel safer having a vaccination passport, too.
Customers have also learned their lesson from last year’s ski season. Many shops experienced weeks of delays for general tune ups that normally take a couple of days due to a sudden influx in skiers across the province. Patry already has a healthy amount of tune ups on deck.
“The one good thing that people did this year is bring in their skis a lot earlier than usual, like a month earlier, so this is good for the delay. We have like a week of delay if they bring in their skis right now, so it’s pretty good,” he said in a phone interview.
Patry told The Record that the main issue last year was caused by the provincial lockdown. The shop lost out on a crucial sales period when businesses were told to close down for over a month. But they were never really short on stock, and they had all of the tune up materials.
This year, however, there could be some problems with ordering new products for customers, since the supply chain has been backed up for several months. They are fully stocked, but if someone needs a special order, they could be asked to wait for almost two months.
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