‘Don’t forget your shovel if you want to go to work,’ as Christy Moore once sang, and it seems as if a tightening belt on the economy is sending shovel sales online, as hardware retailer Handyhardware.ie reported a 50pc increase in sales to trade professionals since April 2008.
According to managing director of sister site Onlinetradesmen.com, Ted Laverty, the downturn in the construction industry is likely a contributory factor: “There aren’t as many jobs as there used to be. Why waste some of your working day heading off to the hardware store for supplies when you can order online in the evening?
“The industry is concentrating more on giving better customer service and completing jobs faster, so the convenience factor of buying online comes into play because every trip costs money in terms of jumping into the car and heading off-site.”
Onlinetradesmen.com, which has 10,000 registered tradesmen, has noticed that although Handyhardware.ie is open to all, the majority of its business (56pc) is from tradespeople as opposed to home owners,, However, aiming to keep prices 20pc below the hardware stores probably helps.
“Feedback over the past number of months from our tradesmen members has highlighted that many are looking to reduce their operating costs in the current climate. It’s great to see that they are now shopping online to achieve this,” said Laverty.
By Marie Boran