Associated Hardware and National Hardware Merge to Create Ireland’s Largest Independent Co-operative Hardware Group

Associated Hardware (‘AHL’) and National Hardware (‘NHL’), have completed a long-term merger process, switching over to a single entity trading under the United Hardware company name, which served as the name for the joint venture between both companies since 2009.

The previous joint venture between these companies was established in response to an existential threat to the building supplies industry following the impact of the property crash in 2009 which decimated the construction sector.

United Hardware will continue to be led by its current Chief Executive Officer and President of the Hardware Association of Ireland, Paul Candon. It will now operate as a true cooperative business with the sole focus of delivering maximum value to its 115 equal shareholding members. Members will benefit more from the new cooperative structure with the majority of profits being returned to members through rebates and loyalty bonuses. Remaining profits will be reinvested into the Group to facilitate future growth and development.

The merger is expected to deliver significant operational, commercial and financial benefits to the now combined Group, along with its members too. It will also enable the Group to invest significantly in its Homevalue retail brand, which it plans to position as a truly national brand that is recognisable to every tradesperson and homeowner in the country.

Commenting on the completion of the merger transaction, Paul Candon, United Hardware’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “United Hardware has outperformed the market in recent years however there is still significant unrealised potential for the business and its members. We are now on an accelerated journey to realising this full potential by leveraging the many benefits that our merger presents. Through all of this, we will consolidate our positioning as the market’s largest Co-operative group, but more importantly, the most attractive partner to the independent DIY and builders merchants, suppliers and the wider construction sector in Ireland.”

United Hardware is now planning to pursue an ambitious growth programme focussed on organic sales growth at store level, network growth and investment in digital and branding.

“We are determined to protect the future sustainability of the independent sector in Ireland, and we are now in our strongest ever position to compete and grow,” added Candon.

The merger means United Hardware will now have total revenues in excess of €300m.

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