Economic impact study reveals key industry data

Positivity, growth, and an unbalanced recovery are among the new data revealed by HAI’s ground-breaking survey.

Hardware Association Ireland is delighted to announce the publication of the first Hardware Economic Impact Study (EIS). The study is based on 2015 figures, but we know that the sector has grown by 10% according to our own business index of net retail sales from 2015 to 2016. HAI will look at a full revision and update of the EIS for late 2018 utilising the latest CSO data.

Headline summary of the findings include:

  • The hardware industry in Ireland – which includes the hardware retail, hardware wholesale, and hardware manufacturing sectors – generates employment of 19,000 persons, wages and salaries of nearly €588mn and a tax contribution of close to €377mn in Ireland.
  • The hardware retail sector, in particular, generates sales of close to €1.2bn, nearly 8,400 jobs and more than €200mn in wages and salaries, and it is one of the larger sub-sectors of the wider retail sector in Ireland generally. The hardware wholesale and hardware manufacturing sectors, meanwhile, contribute an estimated further 10,627 jobs and wages and salaries of almost €384mn.
  • While these levels of economic activity are well down on the industry’s contribution prior to the global economic and financial crises of 2008-09, the hardware industry nonetheless represents a significant economic sector in its own right, making a substantial contribution to the Irish economy.
  • The hardware industry in Ireland is dominated by indigenous Irish businesses, and the majority of firms are independent businesses rather than chain-based enterprises. They are therefore important providers of economic activity across Ireland, not only in urban areas but also in local or rural areas.
  • The outlook for the industry appears broadly positive, driven by growth in consumer spending and an upturn in activity in areas such as construction and housing. At the same time, recovery in the industry may be somewhat uneven, with urban enterprises, in particular, faring better than more rural or local enterprises.

Hardware Association Ireland CEO Annemarie Harte commented on the study’s findings: This has been an epic piece of work as we were looking at a broad set of official national data that constitutes Hardware. We needed to analyse what Central Statistics Offices NASC codes included as it isn’t as straightforward as Building & Construction,” she explained. “Hardware, Paints and Glass is a business group description under the CSO’s Retail Sales Index and ensuring we were counting the kind of items members sell, supply and manufacture was very important to ensure our first EIS (Economic Impact Survey) was as accurate as possible. Now that we have the first one under our belt it will be easier to update going forward. I’d like to personally thank HAI Board member Padraic McGuinness from the Albany Group who gave up his time to check and finalise the report.”

A more detailed report is available to HAI members please contact the office on 01 298 0969 or email