Consumers are set to spend an estimated €50m extra by January on power generators, electric blankets and items designed to slash energy usage or keep them warm.
etailers are struggling to cope with rising sales of stoves, blankets, heated throws, generators, LED bulbs and high-efficiency electrical appliances.
Sales of electric blankets are up by 1,000pc – while solid fuel stove sales are at high levels and hardware stores are struggling to keep petrol-driven electrical generators in stock.
Consumers worried about energy prices and the threat of winter power cuts are causing brisk business for suppliers.
Ireland’s household appliance market is worth €450 million a year – and an extra €50m is expected to be spent this year.
Shaws Department Stores, which has 15 outlets nationwide, said it was clear shoppers were doing everything they could to prepare for what many fear will be the most challenging winter in years.
Marketing director Ger Osborne said the elderly were now driving the spending spree across the country.
“It is definitely elderly people who are spending on blankets, quilts, thermal wear and even heated throws. Most younger people don’t seem to be too worried,” he said.
Blanket and quilt sales are now running at a 15-year high while consumers are also snapping up thermal and insulated clothing.
“Shaws have witnessed a huge growth in demand for their winter warm products in store and online” Mr Osborne said.
“This year’s range is far bigger than in previous as savvy energy-aware customers seek to lower bills by wrapping up.”
Indicative of the drive to save energy and stay warm are the sales of Shaws’ €20 thermal robe, which has become the best selling item across the chain’s range.
Currys/PC World has seen a 1,000pc increase in sales of electric blankets over the past four weeks across its Irish outlets compared with the same period in 2021.
Furthermore, there has been a 324pc increase in sales of energy-efficient air-fryers as families look at new ways of slashing their fuel bills.
Currys offers a ‘Go Green’ range of appliances aimed at cutting energy usage for families – and there has been a reported 82pc sales increases in this category year on year.
Tom Bryan, of Cork’s Toss Bryan Supplies, one of the country’s largest independent hardware firms, said sales of solid-fuel stoves, energy-efficient heaters, LED light bulbs and even quilts have been at remarkable levels over recent weeks.
“I would say we are selling three stoves a day on average at the moment. It has been incredible,” he said.
Mr Bryan said sales of low-energy LED light bulbs were running at levels 200pc to 300pc greater than last year.
“Normally at this time of year generator sales are done and dusted. But we are selling up to five generators at a time – if you can source them for consumers,” he said.
“People are genuinely afraid of power black-outs this winter and are willing to spend on generators to ensure they can light their homes if the electricity supply is interrupted.”
Cork’s South Coast Sales confirmed a surge in energy- efficient heaters.
“The old storage heaters were very rigid in what they could offer,” sales director Cormac Scanlon said.
“But new heaters, like the Farho programmable, energy-efficient heater, which can even be operated via Wi-Fi and used as specific zone heaters, are in great demand.”
Stores such as Penneys and Marks & Spencer have reported higher sales of thermal underwear, blankets, onesie-style all-in-one outfits, and insulated slippers as consumers look for warmth.
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