Salt is in short supply

SALT and de-icer were the top items on shopping lists in Lurgan last week.

Unfortunately both commodities were in short supply with many stores being sold out of the ice combatants.

Holme’s cash and carry in Lurgan sold a month’s supply of salt in 15 minutes while motor accessories specialist Halford’s in Craigavon sold out of de-icer... twice.

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George Walker, buyer at Holme’s cash and carry, told the ‘MAIL’ how the shortage came about: “The last order for delivery for January 6 had to be in by Friday, December 18. I put mine in on December 16.

“It arrived on time and the salt was sold out in 15 minutes. Based on normal salt consumption it should have lasted four weeks.”

George said he sold three palettes to three different shops in the town - Moutray’s Costcutter, SuperValu on the Portadown Road, Silverwood Costcutter.

There are 60 cases of 12 containers of salt on each palette.

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George added: “There's another order coming in on Wednesday. I couldn’t have envisaged this demand.

People are going mad for it. There’s an old order of salt which had been sitting around and we managed to shift all of it as well. It’s been a pretty good couple of weeks for us.”

Holme’s were also sold out of de-icer in a short space of time. It was a similar story at Halford’s in Craigavon.

“There’s been an extremely high demand. We had extra stock in, it ran out as well. We’re waiting on another delivery.

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“We always try to make sure we’ve got as much as we need. But at the minute we can’t keep up with the demand.”

The store manager said screen wash, scrapers, gloves and car cleaning equipment were also big sellers during this icy period.

Joe Conway, owner of Centra in Magheralin, said the shop was busier than normal.

“Salt is a scarcity. Coal, sticks and firelighters have also been big sellers. We’re sold out of coal and salt. I’m still waiting on salt coming in.”

Joe said he’d noticed people stocking up and also neighbours calling in for older people who were housebound by the cold spell.