HARDEEVILLE, SC (WTOC) - Fireworks are flying off store shelves, including some mega-stores in the Lowcountry.
Just across the Savannah River in Hardeeville, several stores are doing some bang-up business as people prepare to bring in the New Year with a boom.
One business owner WTOC spoke to says it's like comparing an icicle to an iceberg when looking at sales on New Year's Eve and any other day of the year.
Traditionally, New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July are the busiest days of the year for fireworks stores. And the Fireworks Megastore and it's next door sister store, Showtime Fireworks, see a constant flow of customers who get off the interstate to load up on a variety of pyrotechnics. With the legalization of the use of certain aerial fireworks in neighboring Georgia this past July, there is a noticeable boom in sales for some South Carolina stores.
Customer bases vary, from passersby traveling for the holiday on the highway, to locals. Even though a new law went into effect in Georgia earlier this year allowing for the use of consumer fireworks state-wide, I saw quite a few Georgia plates still crossing the Savannah River to make their New Year's Eve firework purchases from South Carolina stores. And that's okay with Ron Granick, who along with his wife, owns and operates the Golf Ball Outlet and Fireworks Megastore in Hardeeville.
"We've always been blessed with a lot of customers from Georgia coming. We hope they continue to come. We work really hard to see that they come back and shop with us again, because we want them to have a great experience. Fireworks are a great experience for everybody," said Granick. "Some retailers, the big day is Christmas. Ours are these two holidays. So we hope they continue, we would like to invent a new holiday to celebrate!"
One thing each store tries to do is add new and improved inventory throughout the year, and keep the shelves stocked as much as possible. The greeter at the Fireworks Superstore says there are some crowd favorites this New Year's Eve.
"We've got a lot of products from Time Bandit, and Duck Dynasty. They are the new product for 2015. They go three hundred feet in the air, break open, and give you the burst and the colors," said Venetta Robinson, Fireworks Superstore. "We have done very well this morning and part of the afternoon. We are all excited about the outcome, and it seems like there's more and more every year. And we have quite a few repeat customers."
A lot of these stores are open until about 7 or 8 p.m. Thursday, to allow for customers to make those last minute purchases.
The state insurance commissioner is issuing a safety warning to all Georgians shooting off fireworks. One of the more obvious tips: light fireworks outdoors only. But some you may forget are: don't relight a fuse if it burns out and only light one firework at a time.