Salad days swapped for nights by fire
THE SUMMER’S inclement weather has affected the buying habits of the country’s consumers with increased sales of items usually associated with the colder winter months. Even for a nation not traditionally associated with barbecues or picnics, this summer has been particularly bad.
Statistics released yesterday by Met Éireann reported July to be the coolest in many years and suggestions that a poor August could lead to one of the worst summers in 50 years will not be looked upon kindly by many.
John Hosford of Hosfords Geranium and Garden Centre in Co Cork said demand was still strong for geraniums but that some areas had been adversely affected.
“The weather hasn’t been too kind at all on the industry this year” and outdoor furniture sales have been “slow enough,” Mr Hosford said. “We’ve had biblical levels of rainfall.”
Luckily for Mr Hosford, his geranium sales remain strong and his Blue Geranium Café has continued to do well thanks to the poor weather.
“The weather has driven people in – it can be a refuge on a wet day,” he said.
Tesco communications manager Séamus Banim said the weather was affecting the sale of some goods.
“Across the main grocery peaks, you see winter trends emerging,” Mr Banim said.
Tesco has seen an increase in sales of peat briquettes, while fresh salad sales have dropped 6 per cent.
Items such as confectionery and light bulbs have also made an unseasonal return to the country’s shopping lists.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the supermarket chain has recorded a 15 per cent drop in the sale of ice while ice cream sales have remained flat.
As flip-flops, towels and merchandise associated with good weather have been reduced in some shops, the country’s businessmen and businesswomen could be forgiven for hoping for just a bit of brightness to lift the gloom. “Even if you didn’t have rocketing high temperatures, a bit of brightness is what you want,” Mr Hosford said.
“I think a bit of brightness in the current economic climate is absolutely vital for people’s wellbeing. It would be great for the nation’s morale but unfortunately we can’t legislate for it.”