Shoppers are grabbing electric blankets, warm slippers, winter wool blankets and LED lightbulbs to help them weather the energy crisis

Consumers are expected to spend an estimated €50 million more on electricity generators, electric blankets and items designed to reduce energy use or keep them warm by January.

Retailers are struggling with increasing sales of stoves, blankets, electric blankets, generators, LED lamps and high-efficiency electrical appliances.

Sales of electric blankets are up 1,000 units – while sales of solid fuel stoves are at high levels and hardware stores are struggling to stock petrol-powered electric generators.

Consumer worries about energy prices and the threat of winter power outages mean that suppliers are doing brisk business.

Ireland’s domestic appliances market is worth €450 million a year – and another €50 million is expected to be spent this year.

Shaws Department Stores, which has 15 stores nationwide, said it was clear shoppers were doing everything they could to prepare for what many are fearing will be the most difficult winter in years.

Marketing director Ger Osborne said the elderly are now driving the spending spree across the country.

“It’s definitely older people who spend money on blankets, quilts, thermal clothing and even heated throws. Most younger people don’t seem too concerned,” he said.

Sales of blankets and quilts are now at a 15-year high, while consumers are also snapping up thermal and insulating clothing.

“Shaws has seen a tremendous increase in demand for its warm winter products in-store and online,” said Mr. Osborne.

“This year’s range is much larger than previous years as savvy, energy-conscious customers look to lower their bills by boxing up.”

Indicative of the drive to save energy and stay warm, sales of Shaws’ €20 thermal coat have become the best-selling item across the chain’s range.

Currys/PC World saw a 1,000 per cent increase in electric blanket sales in the last four weeks at its Irish stores compared to the same period in 2021.

Additionally, sales of energy-efficient air fryers are up 324 percent as families look for new ways to reduce their fuel bills.

Currys offers a ‘Go Green’ range of appliances aimed at reducing energy use for families – and this category has seen sales increase by 82 units year over year.

Tom Bryan of Cork-based Toss Bryan Supplies, one of the country’s largest independent hardware companies, said sales of solid fuel stoves, energy-efficient space heaters, LED light bulbs and even quilts have reached remarkable levels in recent weeks.

“I would say we currently sell an average of three stoves a day. It was incredible,” he said.

Mr Bryan said sales of energy-saving LED lightbulbs were up 200 to 300 percent from last year.

“Usually this time of year selling generators gets done and dusted. But we sell up to five generators at a time — if you can source them for consumers,” he said.

“People are really scared of power outages this winter and are willing to spend money on generators to ensure they can light their homes if the power goes off.”

Cork’s South Coast Sales confirmed a rise in energy efficient heating appliances.

“The old storage heaters were very rigid in their offerings,” said sales manager Cormac Scanlon.

“But new heaters, like Farho’s programmable, energy-efficient heater, which can even be powered over Wi-Fi and used as specific zone heaters, are in high demand.”

Stores like Penneys and Marks & Spencer have reported higher sales of thermal underwear, blankets, all-in-one onesie-style outfits and insulated slippers as consumers seek warmth. Shoppers are grabbing electric blankets, warm slippers, winter wool blankets and LED lightbulbs to help them weather the energy crisis

Fry Electronics Team

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