Oddly enough, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are adding to the demand.
"In Olympic years, there's an overall heightened interest and awareness of outdoor sports," said Hyaat Chaudhary, CEO of Carbon Media Group, a digital consulting firm in Bingham, Mich., that works with retailers of outdoor goods.
That adds to the competition for gloves, hats and other crossover gear that are necessities for both those who want to enjoy the snow and those who want to stay warm while digging out of it.
(Read more: Beware the post-snowstorm price gougers)
Crimped supplies are not just occurring in winter-specific gear.
"We are seeing a limited supply of television sets, because people are getting cabin fever and have decided to replace or upgrade their televisions," said Jerry Welkis, president of Welco Realty, a retail consulting firm in New Rochelle, N.Y.
A resulting scarcity? In-store discounts. Many retailers, though already offering spring fashions, may hold off on scheduled markdowns of the few winter items left on racks, according to Green at MSC.
"That demand definitely has an impact on how they push out sales," he said.
On the grocery front, consumers who expect to be housebound (maybe without power) tend to stock up on items other than the usual perishables of milk, bread and eggs, said Teri Gault, founder of The Grocery Game. Staples such as toilet paper and diapers fly off the shelves, as do batteries and fire logs.
"It's all those survival things that run out," she said.
Another oddity: Shoppers may see a smaller selection of cat litter—a must for snowbound pet owners and for giving cars traction on snowy driveways and parking lots. (Along the same lines, deicing salt is tough to find, according to analysts.)
(Read more: Upside to bad weather may be better workers)