Hard­ware stores cater for all so­lu­tions ...

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - HOMES & DIY -

HARD­WARE and DIY stores have been an im­por­tant sta­ple of lo­cal life ever since the 1920s when the con­cept of ca­ter­ing for the needs of home main­te­nance started to gain trac­tion. The evo­lu­tion of time has meant hard­ware stores at­tained a near sym­bolic pres­ence in so­ci­ety.

As more and more peo­ple pur­chased homes, so in­creased the idea of pride, up­keep, care and main­te­nance of a home’s in­te­rior and ex­te­rior. Lo­cal hard­ware stores are unique in the sense they cater for a mul­ti­ple of dif­fer­ent markets from the cus­tomer buy­ing a paint brush, to one buy­ing an en­tire bath­room suite.

At a cus­tomer level, hard­ware stores re­main an es­sen­tial back­stop to the age of on­line sales and pur­chas­ing. Tech­nol­ogy is im­por­tant, but hard­ware stores of­fer con­sumers ad­vice, knowl­edge and one-to-one so­lu­tions when it comes to sourc­ing and car­ry­ing out all man­ner of DIY jobs and for ba­sic home fur­nish­ings.

In a 2018 re­port, The Hard­ware As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land (HAI) found that since 2014 the hard­ware mar­ket ex­pe­ri­enced a growth of around 10% every year. This in­crease is thought to be at­trib­uted to the avail­abil­ity of greater home im­prove­ment loans, home ren­o­va­tion schemes, and an ever in­creas­ing in­ter­est by peo­ple look­ing to im­prove the aes­thetic ap­peal of their home and prop­erty.

Lo­cal hard­ware stores are con­stantly evolv­ing in terms of ser­vice and sup­ply as well. For ex­am­ple, hard­ware stores usu­ally stock the lat­est in home se­cu­rity de­vices, so­lar ap­pli­ances, keys and lat­est win­dow and door locks, in­te­rior de­sign prod­ucts such as paints and fur­nish­ings are also widely avail­able.

Uten­sils, clean­ing agents, and gar­den­ing sup­plies also top the hard­ware shop’s list of sup­plies, as is equip­ment for recre­ational and out­door en­joy­ment. How­ever, one of the main rea­sons why so many peo­ple still avail of a lo­cal hard­ware shop is the in­ter­per­sonal di­men­sion. Ob­tain­ing the items you need after re­ceiv­ing the time and at­ten­tion your cus­tom de­serves is what sets a truly great hard­ware store apart from an av­er­age one.

We can source many things on-line th­ese days, but the one thing we can’t source is the kind of face-to-face con­tact and knowl­edge that a lo­cal hard­ware store pro­vides. It’s im­por­tant and well worth sup­port­ing.

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