Ted Laverty: 'very good news'

Sales of garden equipment and barbecues have jumped by a massive 25% in the last two weeks, as temperatures remained high last week.

Ted Laverty, who runs online store Handyhardware.ie and supplies home and garden wares to a variety of stores, says the increase is purely down to last week's warm snap.

"Business has been very vibrant over the last two weeks in terms of barbecue and garden equipment. Sales are up 15% on this time last year for barbecues which is very good news. Gardening items and furniture sales have risen as much as 25%."

Laverty says this is the first year that he can remember the public buying garden equipment so early.

"Normally we would not be seeing these kinds of figures or any sales in garden equipment until at least June, so it is highly unusual.

"We and other department stores are all praying for the good weather of the last week to continue and for a good summer. Our suppliers are telling us that it has been a disastrous 18 months and that this is just what we need now."