Hardware stores benefit from fine weather

Consumers flock to buy garden furniture, decking, flowers and ‘go-buckets’

The sun has come out for hardware stores, thanks to the recent spell of fine weather, as consumers increase their spend on decking, garden furniture and flowers. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/THE IRISH TIMES

The sun has come out for hardware stores, thanks to the recent spell of fine weather, as consumers increase their spend on decking, garden furniture and flowers. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/THE IRISH TIMES

Tue, Jul 1, 2014, 10:40

FIONA REDDAN

Hardware stores across the country have reported a significant rise in sales in June, as the recent spell of fine weather has translated into an upsurge in footfall and sales.

While the latest CSO Retail Sales Index showed a volume decrease of 2 per cent for hardware in May, hardware businesses are reporting a significant improvement in footfall and corresponding upsurge in sales during June.

According to Hardware Association Ireland (HAI), hardware merchants have seen a marked increase in the sales of typical seasonal products and a more notable trend back towards investing in the home. Sales of both decking and construction timber have shown a lift and there has been a substantial increase in paving and decorative stone.

“It’s great to see this boost in sales and, along with the good weather, it’s a welcome seasonal uplift in a sector that has been suffering particularly badly. It is hoped that these first soundings of a trend towards home improvement will continue as consumer confidence grows and spreads around the country,” said HAI CEO, Jim Copeland.

Consumer demand for exterior paint and garden wood care products, garden furniture and accessories have been particularly strong during the month, along with more impulse purchases for items such as garden plants that provide instant colour have also been popular.

Meanwhile, a new trend has developed of using ‘Go-Buckets’, which are designed to carry compost, weeds and plants while gardening, and as ice buckets for outdoor dining,