Plumb Merchants Ltd. are one of Dublin’s leading suppliers of top quality plumbing materials to the domestic and light commercial sector. As the business moves towards its tenth anniversary, Building Ireland had a chat with joint founder and proprietor Kevin Sullivan, who has more than four decades of experience working in heating and plumbing industry.
Centrally located within the kick of a ball of Croke Park on Russell Street, Dublin 1, Plumb Merchants Ltd. has earned a stellar reputation as the city’s domestic and commercial plumbing materials supplier of choice, providing materials to a whole host of landmark buildings and premises across the capital, from the aforementioned GAA HQ itself to Arnotts, The Riu Plaza Gresham Hotel, the Financial Services Centre and everywhere in between.
Already with a wealth of experience of all aspects of the plumbing trade, Kevin Sullivan formed Plumb Merchants on January 14th, 2010. Almost a decade later, the business is firmly established as a proven leader in its field and continues to go from strength to strength, providing unrivalled products and service levels from a choice location at the heart of the city.
“I started in the plumbing business on the 1st of June, 1978 and have only ever worked in plumbing and heating,” Kevin reflects. “During those 41 years, I have been very lucky to have accumulated both retail and wholesale experience – which is quite unique – as well as hands-on experience as a qualified heating engineer. I’m lucky to have been around so many different aspects of the industry down through the years and the wide range of experience leaves us in a strong position to deal with clients and look after our customers at all times, regardless of what materials they need or how large or small their project is.”
Serving both the public and private sector, from main contractors, developers and plumbing subcontractors to property owners, local authorities and major corporations, Plumb Merchants Ltd. provide a complete range of materials from basic plumbing supplies to state-of-the-art solar power renewable energy solutions and heat recovery systems as well as domestic and commercial bathroom and kitchen systems, catering for a full range of premises including apartments, stores, hotels, bars, houses, schools, health centres, financial institutions, sports stadiums, etc.
Kevin and his team work closely with leading manufacturers, so that they can always offer customers the latest product innovations and best brands at competitive prices.
To say that the product offering is comprehensive would be an exercise in understatement. “We do everything, starting at tap washers and stopping at solar panels on the roof – if it’s in heating and plumbing, then we do it,” Kevin confirms. “From the tanks on the roof of The Riu Plaza Gresham Hotel to the very plush ‘Gap Store’ toilets in Arnotts basement, we supplied the materials. We work very closely with architects to specify what exactly would satisfy the client and withstand huge footfall on their premises.
“We also supply a lot of premises in Temple Bar, the Financial Services Centre, work with countless landlords and over 50 hotels around the city, supporting owners, maintenance people, building management, facilities contractors, Airbnb, etc.”
Ahead of this year’s All-Ireland SFC final between Dublin and Kerry, Kevin ran a novel promotion / publicity campaign for toilet seats in the colours of the respective counties – a tongue-in-cheek initiative perhaps but one which also ties in nicely with one of Plumb Merchants’ growing markets:
“Toilet parts and spare parts for toilets has become a considerable part of our business – from one toilet up to multiples. TOILETPARTS has become more complicated due to the new water regulations and we stock as many of those parts as we can because there’s big demand. The promotion was just a bit of fun but it’s worth noting that we do actually supply all the toilet parts for Croke Park.” We will donate all proceeds from the logo toilet seats to deserving local charities.
One recent project delivered to the highest standard by Plumb Merchants Ltd. was the supply of materials for the refurbishment of 180 rooms at The Gresham Hotel. “This involved supplying the materials to upgrade the various rooms, some of which required basic upgrades and some of which had complete fit-outs. All of the rooms had new showers installed,” says Kevin.
“We go in and identify what they have and what they need and then tailor and match the best product to their exact needs. We always provide a value-added service – as an example of this, we designed new shower doors for all those rooms and that has reduced the cleaning time for each room by up to 20 minutes.”
Location is everything to Plumb Merchants Ltd., who are located literally at the heart of the action. “We are city centre and that’s priceless,” the owner continues. “We’re literally ten minutes’ walk from the GPO and that’s invaluable to service engineers. Due to our location, we are limited to the amount of space we have, so we operate a Noah’s Arc stock of parts – two of everything – and rotate the stock as quickly and efficiently as is possible. There’s no money in not-in-stock, so we try to make sure we have everything a client could need at any given time.”
Open to the public five-and-a-half days a week, Plumb Merchants Ltd. – who are agents for the Oslo range of high-end designer garden taps – enjoy a strong local walk-in trade and are always ready and willing to offer clients expert guidance and advice as well as exceptional technical back-up services. Direct employment is generated for four vastly experienced plumbing and heating specialists, while Kevin has two vans on the road to ensure prompt deliveries.”
Remaining up-to-speed with the latest innovations and the increasingly high-tech nature of all things heating and plumbing, Plumb Merchants has enjoyed a tremendously successful first decade in business and all the indications are that there is plenty more to come!
“The first word we preach here is service. Most of our runs are fire-brigade runs because it’s reactionary and you have to get to the client as quickly as possible when there is an outage,” Kevin concludes. “Going forward, we want to remain relatively small and continue to offer a personal service. If we were overwhelmed, we would no longer be able to give the good service we’re renowned for. A modern business, but some things still have to be done the old-fashioned way.
“The business is evolving all by itself and I’m very grateful for the large volume of unsolicited business we’ve acquired over the years, due to both our prime location and word of mouth. I find that if you provide a good service that’s the best advertising of all – people will come back to you and they will also recommend you to others.”
And for the best heating and plumbing materials coupled with a service to match, nobody in the city comes more highly recommended than Plumb Merchants Ltd! Watch out for TOILETPARTS merge into the market in the immediate future.
Plumb Merchants Ltd,
10B Russell Street,
Tel: 01 8603943
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2019, Vol 5 No 10