Consumer spending across the hardware, DIY, homewares and garden retail sector has soared along with the temperatures in recent weeks, offering the first glimmer of hope for the first time since 2007.
According to Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) it is offering some small respite from an extremely challenging first four months in 2013.
HAI members from across the country are reporting a sudden surge in sales of products such as paint, garden furniture and accessories, barbecues, plants, lawn mowers and water products. A shortage of electric fans has retailers working hard to find supplies.
“It’s great to see this sudden boost in sales in the sector and, along with the good weather, it’s a welcome seasonal uplift in a sector that has been suffering particularly badly. Demand for construction materials however remains subdued,” said HAI CEO, Jim Copeland.
Sales of outdoor paint are up two and a half times usual volumes and people are reinvigorating garden sheds, fences and existing furniture with all manner of varnishes, oils and coatings.
More garden furniture is being purchased this year than for the last three years. Barbeques, especially charcoal, are proving particularly popular, along with other seasonal items such as bedding plants for immediate colour, citronella candles to keep the flies away, and parasols to give some respite shade when necessary.
Lawn mowers and garden tools are starting to move after a slow beginning to the season with grass growth back to normal levels. In line with the growing trend towards camping, portable water storage products for campsites and caravans are selling out, as well as picnic equipment, cutlery, crockery, air sealed and temperature controlled storage. Source: Business World