BWG Foods, owner and operator of the Spar, Eurospar, Mace, Londis and XL brands, has reported significant demand for gardening products during the lockdown period, with sales surpassing €1m over the past eight weeks.
With garden centres and DIY stores closed to the public up until Monday 18th May, BWG Foods began supplying flowering and bedding plants, compost and other key gardening products to its network of over 1,000 community-based stores across Ireland, resulting in a new stream of business for many retailers.
BWG Foods made the decision to supply gardening products so that customers could continue to maintain their gardens during the COVID 19 lockdown period, with gardening becoming an increasingly popular activity, driven primarily by recent travel and movement restrictions.
In total, over 200,000 plants have been sold across Spar, Eurospar, Mace, Londis and XL stores nationwide since 23rd March. The sale of gardening products through Ireland’s grocery retail sector has continued to provide a sales channel for Irish growers and nurseries during what would normally be their busiest trading period of the year in supplying seasonal summer produce.
Commenting on the matter, Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director BWG Foods, said: “While people have been confined to their homes during the lockdown period, many have embraced their gardens as a healthy means of passing time. We have a network of over 1,000 community-based stores across the country, meaning we had the ability to cater to a very significant proportion of the population’s gardening needs, while they respect the Covid-19 travel restrictions. This is evident from the €1m sales registered during the period and is another terrific example of how our local retailers have been adapting to serve communities in these uncertain times.”
Through its retail network, BWG Foods will continue to supply gardening products into the near future, supporting communities through all-inclusive stores that service a wide range and variety of different needs in different localities, beyond grocery retail. The supply of such products will help those who continue to be impacted by current travel restrictions, providing a close option for vulnerable people and those that wish to limit the number of shops they visit.
BWG Foods has experienced a significant increase in sales across a number of product categories since the beginning of the COVID 19 lockdown, with egg sales up 70% when compared with the same period last year, butter sales up 50% since the beginning of the lockdown, and milk also up 15% since the beginning of the lockdown. Recent good weather has also contributed to a 77% increase in take-home ice-cream sales and a 38% increase in prepack meat, traditionally associated with the BBQ season.