Since opening its doors in the heart of Dublin city in 2010, Plumb Merchants Ltd has established itself as a leading supplier of heating and plumbing materials to the public and trade. Proprietor Kevin Sullivan explains more about his thriving business which prides itself on exceptional service and an outstanding product range.
“If you can’t find Croke Park, you can’t find us,” Kevin says of Plumb Merchant’s Russell Street, Dublin 1 location beside the iconic Hogan Stand entrance to GAA headquarters.
“Almost everyone has been to Croke Park at some stage in their lives, so they shouldn’t have a problem finding us.”
With 44 years’ experience in the trade, Kevin’s knowledge of heating and plumbing products is virtually unrivalled. His mission is to supply the right product at the first time of asking, thus saving the customer the time and hassle of having to come back again to look for an alternative product.
“In my experience, being able to converse with the tradesperson or member of the public to find out precisely what they want is the key to securing a satisfactory sale,” he explains.
“It’s all about understanding the customer’s needs and being able to advise them on what is the right product. We’re big into problem solving. We’ll bombard you with questions to make sure we’re giving you the right product. The little things like checking the pressure of taps and whether you have a pressurised or gravity system or are isolation valves fitted etc.
“We don’t want to waste your time or our time by giving you something you’re going to come back with. The quicker we get you up-and-running, the better. If we don’t hear back from you, we know you have the correct product and we’ve satisfied your needs.”
Customer service is number one and to this end, Plumb Merchants supply a comprehensive range of bathroom, heating and plumbing products to a wide range of customers across the commercial, industrial, domestic and DIY sectors.
Kevin and his small but dedicated team work closely with leading manufacturers so that they can offer their customers the latest product innovations and the best range of market-leading brands at competitive prices. Plumb Merchants’ friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to assist you with any product enquiries. Orders are dealt with quickly and efficiently, resulting in a reputation which is second to none.
Plumb Merchants is a leading supplier of top-quality branded heating and plumbing products to the commercial, domestic and industrial sectors. The shop caters for everyone from main contractors, developers and plumbers to property owners, local authorities and major corporations. Property and hotel maintenance is its core business. The sanitary requirements of different cultures are also catered for.
“We do everything, starting at tap washers and stopping at solar panels on the roof,” Kevin continues.
“We supply very specific products to the domestic and hotel markets. For example, we stock a large variety of toilet parts and systems. From the tanks on the roof of The Riu Plaza Gresham Hotel to the very plush new toilets located beside the Gap Store in Arnotts department store, we supplied the materials. We’ve also supplied products to Brown Thomas, the IFSC, quite a number of premises in Temple Bar as well as many hotel, apartments and complexes all over Dublin city centre and county.
“Our customer-base is growing all the time.”
Plumb Merchants is proud to have introduced to the Irish market a very high quality Garden Tap and the Starfix range of products. A French brand, the OSLO Garden Tap is the highest quality garden tap available in Ireland, while the Starfix Bar Valve Fixing Kits are superior to any other fixing of its type available.
The dedicated heating and plumbing supplier’s city centre location means it has to cater for products that aren’t run-of-the-mill.
“We have been presented with some of the most unusual pipes you’ll ever come across. One of the strangest requests we got was from a contractor who wanted a fitting to attach to a bog oak mains water supply pipe (still in service) which has been working away for hundreds of years underground in Thomas Street (thanks to the Romans no doubt!) We provide transition fittings to suit most types of pipework.”
Commenting on the challenges posed by Brexit and Covid-19, Kevin says: “In light of Brexit, I would encourage all importers to branch out and find companies across Europe that are only too willing to supply products that are equal, if not better in quality than those from the UK. With regard to Covid, we have found our customers to be very compliant with social distancing and hand sanitising on our premises, and would like to thank them for their cooperation.”
Kevin is concerned about the decline in young people taking up trades and wants to play his part in changing that.
“There is a severe lack of apprentices in all trades, not just in heating and plumbing,” he notes.
“Unless something is done, we’re going to be in trouble. With the surge – as opposed to boom – we’re seeing in the construction industry at the moment, it’s an ideal opportunity to bring more apprentices on stream. We’d be happy to put the message out as we have lots of tradesmen coming through our doors daily.
“More needs to be done to encourage young people to get a trade. There’s good money to be made and when you have a trade, you can bring it anywhere with you. I’ve got a lot from the industry so I feel there’s an onus on me to give something back. It’s all about investing in the future.”
As for Kevin’s future plans, it’s very much a case of consolidating what he has.
“We’re going from strength to strength, but in a very measured way. I like to run a tight ship and I’m very happy with how things are going. We enjoy a strong local walk-in trade and are always ready and willing to offer clients expert guidance and advice. We offer our customers a personal touch and will always go the extra mile for them.
“It’s all about making sure they’re happy at the end of the day.”
Opening hours are 8am-5pm Monday to Thursday, 8am-4pm on Fridays and 8.30am-11.00am on Saturdays. Kevin would like to take this opportunity to thank his customers and suppliers for their continued support as well as his staff for their dedication, hard work and expertise.
Plumb Merchants Ltd
10B Russell Street,
Telephone: 01 8603943 / 086 7827559
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, April 2022, Vol 8 No 4