BWG Foods, the company behind the Spar, Mace and Eurospar convenience store brands, has reported an extra €1m in sales after adding gardening products to its range during the Covid-19 lockdown.
More than 200,000 plants have been sold in eight weeks across BWG's store network, which includes Londis and XL shops, while most nurseries and garden centres were shut, the group said.
It now plans to continue selling plants into the near future - while travel limits are in place for consumers and amid high demand even after garden centres have been allowed to reopen.
BWG Foods managing director Willie O'Byrne said: "The supply of such products will help those who continue to be impacted by current travel restrictions, providing a close option for vulnerable people and those who wish to limit the number of shops they visit."
BWG says it worked with local growers to source plants and provided a new sales channel during the lockdown period. Garden centres and DIY stores were closed to the public until Monday, while grocery stores continued to trade.
The group added flowering and bedding plants, compost and other gardening products to the range on sale in more than 1,000 shops across Ireland, sourcing them from nurseries that could not open to the public.
BWG also saw higher demand for eggs and butter since the lockdown began.