Topline Doyle’s is as old as the GAA, the business first opened its doors in Shamrock Square on St Patricks day, 1884 hence the affectionate locally known nickname “Doyle’s of the Shamrock”. Established by James Doyle, the great grandfather to our current owner Michael Doyle it consisted of a bar, grocery and hardware store. When Michael took over the family business, it employed 10 people; under Michael’s guidance the business has flourished into two successful hardware shops serving its community of Carlow, Tullow and the surrounding areas, Doyle’s Wholesale, a national distributor of lawnmowers and light construction equipment and Lots for Less, a retail outlet for all home and office essentials. Currently the Group employs more than 100 local people.
In March 2004, the business moved to a custom built three-and-a-half-acre site in Graiguecullen, this improved accessibility and made parking and deliveries more convenient. In 2007 Doyle’s of the Shamrock was rebranded to Topline Doyle’s of the Shamrock. This opened more opportunities to our service offering and more value to our product range by being part of a national brand and buying group (Topline was started in Carlow and Michael Doyle is the current Chairman).
John Foley, the groups Managing Director joined in 2012 and brought with him a freshened professional approach and vast experience in the construction industry (local projects include Shamrock Plaza, 4 Lakes Retail Park and Castleoaks). Johns’ wealth of experience and Carlow IT education brought new innovative ideas to the company that helped steer the management and company out of the post-recession years. John is particularly proud of his Carlow IT education; an education that gave him the skills to excel in his career, John often comments on how well Carlow IT has developed as an institute of education, leading to its expansion in recent years.
Topline Doyle’s reputation oozes in heritage and loyalty by being the modest first choice to shop in for people from all over Carlow and the surrounding areas; we are very proud of some of the awards that have been conferred on us over the years including the Octabuild Builder Merchant awards to Carlow Chamber Business awards. John will always point out the simple core of our business which is service, advice and product offering at the right price.
A positive sign to appreciate is when staff see the same customer return time after time and is forever grateful to see new faces coming in every day too.
Our trade counter staff carry a vast amount of expertise and knowledge that equates to over 200 years of experience, this led to a big expansion of our trade area in 2014! In 2019 we created a centre of excellence showroom in establishing Carlow’s biggest range of garden machinery for new machines, repairs and services in a new retail space across the road from our hardware shop.
Topline Doyle’s maintains its traditional values, integrity and warm friendly service but we continue to drive change in order to offer our customers the very best. Operating state of the art departments with trained staff in the latest technologies and trends to serve a home. Topline Doyle’s has grown from the modest pub/grocery/hardware shop to providing the latest smart technologies and robot mowers.
Without locals we would have no business. Look at our carpark every day, not only do we have our local community supporting us, but we have local businesses and tradesmen also. We have painters, builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, interior designers, horticulturists & local businesses working on their own DIY project in with us. As John says “what is bought locally stays locally”-supporting local business ensures employment in our community and all the services we need on our doorstep. Providing all the support that we can means that businesses are less likely to leave our area and care more about ensuring the community is cared for and has a future.
Our staff all live locally; they are what we describe as the “personality and heartbeat” of Topline Doyle’s. The importance of “people buy from people” is still alive and kicking and it’s our local staff that should take the credit for the business’s longevity. We have a great mix of new and long-serving staff and we pride ourselves on developing the next generation of hardware experts, we currently have 4 staff members in retail management training.
We are very lucky in our industry to be a core part of people’s projects, providing the raw materials for the various tasks they may be making and maintaining a home or businesses, or a voluntary group and they are being productive and creative and it’s really lovely to see the changes and know you had a help in creating that improvement.