Firmly established as one of Munster’s premier imported Scandinavian timber and roofing material specialists, General Hardware Supplies Homevalue (GHSH) provide the construction trade with a comprehensive range of building materials from their recently-revamped base in Newcastle West, County Limerick. As this industry-leading family-run builders providers and DIY store marks its 21st anniversary, Building Ireland touched base with managing director Jarlath Mullane to get an update.
Covering all of Munster, General Hardware Supplies Homevalue offers a complete range of high-quality, competitively-priced building materials – literally everything that’s needed to build a house! – to building contractors, homeowners, farmers and DIY’ers.
Located in the picturesque town of Newcastle West, the genesis of GHSH goes back to 1999, when current MD Jarlath Mullane’s father Joseph, in conjunction with former government minister Michael Noonan, set up what was originally a tile shop. In response to demand, the store gradually diversified to offer the full array of DIY supplies and construction materials, developing a particular reputation as Ireland’s No.1 supplier of quality Scandinavian timber.
Over the past couple of years, the business has been substantially rebranded and reinvented, with the store itself undergoing a dramatic transformation. The painstaking and time-consuming overhaul of the premises has been worth the effort as the end result is both practical and pleasing on the eye, while – crucially – business has also increased.
Walking through the entrance today, one is met with a well-lit, easily navigable rectangular shop floor. The lighting and medium-height shelves facilitate convenient scanning of the entire floor, with bright and clear signage guiding customers to the areas they seek.
From marking out and foundations, damp proofing and Scandinavian timbers to roof covering, first fix, plastering and second fix, General Hardware Supplies Homevalue supply builders and tradesmen with all the materials they need to complete even the largest project, with the emphasis always on quality, price and service.
Professional, knowledgeable, experienced staff – who are trained and upskilled on an ongoing basis – leave no stone unturned in guaranteeing absolute customer satisfaction, while a prompt delivery service completes the deal.
In recent years, the business has progressed significantly. Operating under the Homevalue / United Hardware banner (Ireland’s largest hardware buying group) once more since 2019, General Hardware Supplies Homevalue’s greater purchasing power means customers get better value, while staff numbers have increased to 16 (from an initial team of five in 1999) and Jarlath is recruiting as we speak, actively seeking strong candidates for the position of general manager.
Over the past 24 months, the well-appointed store in Newcastle West has been completely revamped and the business is in a strong position to continue to provide customers with the best materials money can buy, be that doors or floors, paint or stoves, lighting, insulation, fascia and soffits, slabs, plywood, sewer fittings, Scandinavian timber, slates and tiles or concrete (through sister company, McMahon Concrete Products, which is fronted by Jarlath’s brother, Adrian).
A leading manufacturer and supplier of precast concrete products, McMahon Concrete Products is located just five miles away in Ardagh, where quality sills, lintels, wall caps, pier caps, post and panel fencing and cattle troughs are manufactured. The business had diversified heavily into the agricultural market with much success.
Having already forged lasting relationships with a who’s who of local building contractors, large and small, General Hardware Supplies Homevalue benefits from a strong volume of repeat business, but Jarlath says the business model has been grown and optimised to the extent where capacity has increased significantly and he is thus actively seeking new customers and new opportunities.
A fleet of modern and immaculately-maintained lorries ensures that prompt and secure delivery is never an issue, with vital products invariably delivered on site as and when the client requires them. “We also hire in lorries for when we are particularly busy and we can generally offer customers 24-hour delivery,” Jarlath confirms. “We carry a huge stock of timber at any given time and it’s of an extremely high quality. We have 200 bales of Scandinavian timber in stock any given time. It’s all imported and it’s predominantly C24-graded, high-spec timber.”
Although a fine all-rounder in terms of builders providers, General Hardware Supplies Homevalue really excel when it comes to timber. Heavily involved in importing timber from countries such as Sweden, Norway, Germany and Latvia, they have seen their sales grow massively in this category, with regular deliveries across Munster and beyond.
Imported timber is of a higher quality than native timber and GHSH go to great lengths to source the finest roof timber for their customers. All imported Scandinavian timber is certified, stamped and graded and easy to work with. Available in long and short lengths, it is extremely uniform and exceptionally consistent with fewer knots and a finer grain.
Offering customers quality, choice and service levels that cannot be beaten, General Hardware Supplies Homevalue has come a long way in the 21 years since its inception. Recent changes and improvements to the business have breathed new life into it but in many respects it’s a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same as Jarlath oversees a busy builders providers / general hardware store that is imbued with the exact same customer-focused ethos that has prevailed at the Newcastle West place of excellence since 1999.
“The business and the brand are going strong, thankfully,” the MD concludes. “The market is very competitive and so there’s no room for complacency, but we are pushing on. While we’d be widely known as a direct importer of quality timber, we are constantly taking on new products and wider choice, opening up new parts of the market in response to customer needs. There’s ample stock here – anything a builder could want. Also, our new website – www.generalhardwaresupplies.com – is now live.
“We’re growing the business at the moment and there are opportunities here for the right people to help us drive this business forward. We have a great team here already and they all contribute to the growth and success of the business. It took time to get a great team together but I couldn’t be happier with the people we have here at the moment and it’s people who are at the heart of this business at the end of the day: our staff and – most importantly – our customers.”
General Hardware Supplies Homevalue,
Tel: 069 77978
Lo Call: 1890 779779
Sales enquiries: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, July/August 2020, Vol 6 No 4