By Jess Brunette November 28, 2018 Great Outdoors

We find the great outdoors can be a whole new market as well as discovering a round-up of some of the latest outdoor products.

To view a PDF of the complete feature as it appeared in NZ Hardware Journal magazine, click the download button at the bottom of this page.

For the latest insights into the retail space of outdoor and landscaping products, I spoke to PlaceMakers’ Merchandise Manager Jane Reid and GM Operations Gary Woodhouse for their take on what is happening in this space.

Jane Reid says that sales of the PlaceMakers hardscaping products including decking paving, pergolas and similar products has been going extremely well.

On the back of this growth, PlaceMakers has just increased its range of outdoor/landscaping products and Reid expects this to grow even more over the upcoming summer and further into 2019.



Jane Reid has also noted strong demand from customers for low maintenance options in and around the garden, including advanced timers for watering systems, artificial turf and aluminium fencing which is easy to put together.

“More environmentally options, such as friendlier treatments and timber from responsibly managed forests have also proved popular,” she adds.

A trend that Gary Woodhouse has seen at a branch level is that the builders coming into PlaceMakers are increasingly connecting with landscapers when working on domestic projects.

He explains: “More and more homeowners are looking to builders to provide a wider solution.

“For example, if they are building a deck they’ll then ask [the builder] about paving or lighting or ask if they can recommend someone else to provide those solutions.

“So we are really trying to encourage our buildings to link in with our landscapers.”

Looking at the type of larger projects that are being undertaken, Jane Reid says that the concept of the “outdoor room” really does seem to have been taken up with gusto.

“Effectively it’s about extending the home and making that outdoor space usable throughout the year whether it’s putting in lighting, heating or a bit more protection, such as translucent roofing,” she says, “Whereas traditionally you probably had a deck or a few pavers that you could use during summer but not the rest of the year.”



Unfortunately, like the rest of the construction industry, both builders and landscapers are suffering the same shortfalls in skilled labour.

And with demand for work of this nature generally coming once the weather warms up, bottlenecks inevitably occur.

“Christmas tends to be the deadline when everyone wants these outdoor projects completed and that creates major capacity constraints for the industry at that time,” Woodhouse explains

Woodhouse would like to see landscaping became a category that his customers keep in mind all year round.

“The challenge is for us to work with our customers (the builders) to ensure they are talking to homeowners about any landscaping they may want done far earlier in the year to avoid disappointment.”

Perhaps this is a challenge that the whole industry could get behind?   


Get the Jet

Jet Scrub is the latest product from Browns Brushware and is ideal for cleaning gutters, rubbish bins, car wheels, mountain bikes, kayaks or any other tricky spots that need a good scrub. Users simply snap on a standard hose then get scrubbing.


CE Lawford’s bumper issue

CE Lawford has just released its 2018 garden catalogue. This 66 page glossy is chock full of everything you could want for the garden from Axes to Wind Vanes and everything in between.


Does NZ need a stronger standard for butane?

The explosion of a butane gas canister at De La Salle College in Mangere East that put seven people in hospital has prompted calls for stricter standards on these products in New Zealand.

Lorraine Els is the General Manager of AHM, a major supplier of butane stoves and canisters to the New Zealand and Australian market.

AHM insists that all its butane products hold AGA (Australian Gas Association) certification, which meets the latest Australian safety requirements.

Lorraine points out that, at the moment, New Zealand accepts butane stoves covered by CE, UL, CSA and Australian Gas Safety certification schemes which means there is a huge variance in the level of safety.

“It is this lack of clear regulation that allows retailers at the lower end of the market to import and sell stoves that are, in our opinion, dangerous for consumers,” she says.

“We work actively with WorkSafe NZ to bring to their attention dangerous units in the market, but retailers should also come on board to ensure we provide consumers with only the safest stoves and canisters available.”

The four key components of Australian AGA certification are:

  • A fixed, non-removable pan support.
  • A two-stage safety valve. Oversize plate temperature testing.
  • A restructured leakage test (TGB13).

AHM also focuses on canister design and safety through its CRV butane gas canister, which features a Countersink Release Vent which ensures overpressure is released via vents before the canister can explode – thereby making it “explosion proof”.


DEWALT takes the strain out of landscaping

DEWALT has expanded its XR FLEXVOLT 54V Lithium-ion Brushless range with the introduction of a series of high-performance cordless landscaping equipment that includes the DCM571 54V Line Trimmer/Brush Cutter, DCM572 54V Blower and DCM575 54V Chainsaw.

Designed for use on large residential or commercial premises, and delivering a host of benefits over traditional corded or petrol-based products, the DEWALT XR FLEXVOLT 54V tools are available as bare units, allowing existing DEWALT XR FLEXVOLT battery owners to maximise their investment, as well as complete solutions including high capacity 9.0Ah battery packs for optimum run time


EasyMark by SPEEDECK

New from SPEEDECK, the EasyMark fixings gauge allows the user to mark out fixing positions across up to five boards at a time by slotting the gauge over the joists for perfect alignment.

This eliminates the need for time-consuming measuring and marking and the use of surface chalk lines which are often difficult to remove. Users simply drop EasyMark over the decking boards and mark with a pencil or use a drill to mark the holes.

EasyMark ensures perfectly aligned fixing marks for pre-drilling or self-drill screws and comes pre-set with inline/ offset and semi-offset fixing positions to suit the client and builder preference.

Currently seeking New Zealand stockists!


Masport’s High Commander

Masport’s latest premium model BBQ is the Commander.

Finished in high quality 304 stainless steel, the Commander BBQ features 6 premium 304 stainless steel burners, grill lights which allow you to cook in low light, a slide out stainless steel drawer for additional storage, the Fat Away Drainage System which directs away excess fats, oils and unnecessary juices as well as a newly integrated smoker to infuse more flavour.

The Commander also comes with a Rotisserie kit, UV cover, a USB port and an integrated bottle opener plus a bonus 18 piece stainless steel barbecue set and a five-year grill body warranty.


Three times the power with Fiskars

Fiskars PowerGear X range is an ideal solution for green thumbs looking to invest in some high quality ergonomically designed tools.

With three times more power for less effort, the Fiskars PowerGear X range slices through branches effortlessly and efficiently and includes Bypass Pruners, Loppers and Shears.

The range feature 3D SoftGripTM contour moulding to prevent slipping, increase comfort and reduce fatigue. SoftGripTM is designed for an optimal splinter-free grip, and the anti-shock surface structures ensure grip is firm and comfortable.



Get sowing right now

You can’t have an outdoor room without the carpet and Yates has the ideal solution for lawns that are looking thin.

Yates Sow Anytime Lawn Seed’s unique selling point is that it can germinate at any time of the year including temperatures as low as 3°C.

For in-store queries on what lawn seed should be used, particularly in the spring off season, this product is ideal.

Yates Sow Anytime Lawn Seed contains a premium stadium blend that grows well in both sun and shade.



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