Hardware chain boss clarifies consumer confusion over opening

Confusion over whether hardware stores are permitted to be open during the lockdown has been clarified by the managing director of one of the largest hardware and builders supplies companies in the country.

Long queues have been seen outside hardware stores around the country in recent weeks, leading to confusion over whether they are able to supply domestic customers.

Speaking to the Galway Advertiser, Dennis O’Connor, MD of the HPC group, who own the TJ O’Mahony chain of stories said that there is a certain amount of confusion surrounding opening or not opening, and that he is keen to clarify it for the benefit of customers.

He said that under the guidelines, members of the public cannot be allowed access to Builders Merchants/Hardware stores, i.e. it has to be on a delivery only basis.

“The Government has classified Builders Merchants/Hardware stores as ‘essential’, which allows a store such as TJ O’Mahony to trade only under the following circumstances:

“A. ) in emergency supply situations, so for example the care facility in Limerick hospital is deemed emergency, or the 32 social housing projects taking place nationwide, a domestic emergency might be a boiler breakdown or leak in a roof etc,

“But in all these cases it is recommended that the product is delivered as opposed to encouraging customers calling to premises.

“B ) if a store (Builders merchants/Hardware store can operate an online business such as www.tjomahony.ie that operates under the stringent NSAI guidelines.

“Again all product purchased online has to be delivered as opposed to collect in order to discourage people conglomeration outside stores,” said Mr O’Connor.


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