Doubled in size and newly rebranded under the Homevalue brand, Callan Co-op’s investment exemplifies a progressive attitude and loyalty to its community and values.
This April, Callan in Kilkenny had plenty to celebrate. Newly renovated and offering twice the space, Callan Co-op also officially launched as a Homevalue branded store.
The public were welcomed at a grand opening event which included amazing giveaways, a free family fun day and plenty of special offers.
Becoming a Homevalue retailer is an ideal fit for the landmark Callan business, as it helps the Co-op build upon its reputation for its extensive product range and price competitiveness. A trusted national Irish brand, Homevalue brings strong name recognition.
The store, one of five to open in Kilkenny, joins over 90 branded Homevalue builder merchants and DIY stores nationwide.
Callan has long been recognised for its vibrant community spirit and strong agricultural heritage. And at its heart, Callan Co-op Homevalue; a thriving local institution that has stood the test of time and become synonymous with community support and service.
In 1899, a group of farmers united to form an agri-business serving the area during tough times. For over 120 years, that progressive, customer-focused ethos has endured. General Manager James Fitzgerald says, “Our Co-op was set up by farmers for farmers. Since then, we’ve come a long way and no longer just serve the agricultural sector. We now cater for the home, DIY and gardening needs of a much wider customer base.”
“However, without our loyal farming customers, we wouldn’t have achieved what you see here today. So, we’re keen to acknowledge how valuable their support is.”
Callan Co-op Homevalue have always prided themselves on their knowledge of their customers, products and the challenges facing the local farming community. As the market evolved, the store adapted to suit its needs. When the new premises on West Street first opened in 2005, the range was predominantly agri-related. The store quickly expanded and diversified into hardware and home items for the general public.
Investing in the future
A major investment in 2022 more than doubled its size, including extensive redevelopment of the yard.
Ten months ago, in mid-project, Siobhan Mason joined as Retail Operations Manager, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience.
She recalls: “When I started, we had a very compact shop floor. It’s now a 10,000 sq. ft. area, giving much more room to designate to different suppliers and products.”
“For example, fencing used to have two little sections for five suppliers. Now we have more space for each, which really enhances the shopping experience.”
There are 40 free parking spaces on-site, conveniently located just off the Callan-Kilkenny ring road. James says, “We are delighted to see the big mix of customers come in from all around Kilkenny for the keen prices and unbeatable customer service. People will travel for a good deal, and Callan Co-op Homevalue has always been known for great value.”
The comprehensive range is proving to be a major draw. “Our store has always been great at providing the essentials. But this major expansion and new branding represents a real step-change.”
Under one roof, shoppers can now find: building materials, DIY tools, plumbing supplies, electrical goods, pet products, garden/landscaping supplies, furniture and equipment. In addition to top-quality Canadia Flooring there are expanded paint choices featuring Crown, Dulux and Fleetwood, hardware and accessories, footwear, protective clothing, fuel products and much more.
The emphasis is on choice, quality brands and Irish goods. A Guaranteed Irish retailer, the business contributes to the local economy, provides quality Irish-made products and services, and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
The team also continually seeks out innovative and sustainable new lines in keeping with customer demands and trends.
Callan Co-op Homevalue has remained true to its origins, with a proud reputation for Agri products. It’s the go-to supplier for feeds for cattle, sheep and poultry, all supplied via a convenient bulk feed delivery service. The comprehensive equine section stocks a range of products from Red Mills and veterinary supplies.
Also on offer is a wide choice of chemicals, dairy detergents and milk socks, plus an extensive fencing section including gates.
The customer is everything at Callan Co-op Homevalue. “Our team’s only goal is to see customers happy with the solutions we provide,” says James. “Their enthusiasm for working as a team, engaging with customers and supporting the wider community is exceptional.
Many of our people are well-known to our customers, having worked here for over 25 years. Much has changed, but the ethos of being there for shoppers stays strong. Customers always feel welcome and enjoy the benefits of buying from a local business with great personal service.
Above all, they like dealing with experts who understand what they need and are keen to share their expertise.” During Covid, the Co-op was a vital community hub, providing a safe space where people could meet and get their essentials.
James expects the hardware industry to continue facing challenges and opportunities in the years ahead, with many factors at play. However, there are always growth areas. One of the biggest is the trend in home improvement and renovation. As more people take on these projects themselves, the DIY culture has gained momentum.
Hardware stores can capitalise on demand by offering a wealth of DIY-friendly products, educational resources and support.
This is where outstanding customer service and staff knowhow, of the standard at Callan Co-op Homevalue, can deliver a major competitive advantage.
The focus on sustainability presents further opportunities; a superb platform for hardware businesses to develop and market eco-friendly products and solutions.
Callan Co-op Homevalue stocks a wide range of energy-efficient appliances, sustainable building materials, water-saving devices and environmentally friendly alternatives for many product categories. All to help customers choose options that reduce their environmental impact.
Sustainability has become a priority for the store, explains James, “We’re taking steps to help customers and our own operations to become more efficient and green.”
The Co-op actively promotes its own waste reduction, with recycling programmes for paper, cardboard, plastics and more. And, by encouraging customers to recycle and providing information on proper disposal, the Co-op is fostering a circular economy. Even providing an on-site area for recyclable
electrical goods and water filter cartridges.
James outlines their drive to reduce packaging waste. “We want to work with suppliers who use sustainable materials and encourage the use of recycled or recyclable packaging. Customers are advised on packaging too, encouraging responsible waste management.”
Improving energy efficiency within its operations includes implementing energy-saving practices, fitting energy-efficient lighting and optimising heating, ventilation and cooling systems. By reducing consumption, the Co-op cuts both its carbon footprint and costs.
“We believe in education. Employee training raises awareness about environmental issues and encourages them to incorporate sustainable practices at work. And we share educational resources with customers, offering guidance on making eco-friendly choices.”
The Co-op collaborates with suppliers who share this commitment. “A partner in the Teagasc Signpost Programme, we actively communicate its measures to our milk suppliers.”
Online is another key area for growth. The Co-op’s current major development aims to harness the potential of the internet with a host of initiatives to widen its target market and enhance customer engagement. “We’re working towards online shopping, click-and-collect services, digital catalogues,
customer loyalty programmes, sustainability initiatives and other innovative solutions to bring our great offers to the public,” James states.
“It’s one more way that our business continues evolving to meet the changing needs of customers. These innovations will enhance the overall experience, deliver convenience and showcase our motivation to stay ahead of industry trends.”
Callan Co-op Homevalue plays a significant local role; actively engaging and supporting community groups and initiatives. “It’s the Co-op spirit to give back. We are proud supporters of John Lockes GAA Club, Dunnamaggin Ladies Football, Callan Féile and many more, and have continuously supported the
Men’s Shed and Tidy Towns,” says Siobhan.
“As a valued and integral part of Callan, our involvement goes beyond business transactions. Our dedication to the wellbeing and development of this community is genuine.”
Through sponsorships, collaborations, educational support and environmental initiatives, the Co-op strengthens relationships and contributes to Callan’s growth and prosperity. Unique selling point
If there is one special quality that sets Callan Co-op Homevalue apart, it must be: customer service based on strong relationships and being rooted in the community. James’ definition: “We deliver a personal experience that ensures every customer feels valued and heard. Our staff have extensive knowledge and can offer tailored recommendations for specific requirements. Whether it’s helping with DIY projects, providing practical tips, or after-sales support, we go the extra mile to ensure satisfaction. Customers know they can rely on our guidance to find the right solution. It’s what keeps people coming back for all their hardware and home improvement needs. Trust, allied to a progressive outlook, underpins a positive attitude for the future. We look forward to the challenges ahead and feel confident that Callan Coop Homevalue has a structure and growth mindset that will ensure continued success.”