DIY, homeware and trade stores Mitre 10, PlaceMakers and Bunnings are reaping rugby tournament benefits.

Mitre 10 barbecue sales are up and spring is evidently not the cause. Dave Elliott, marketing general manager, said barbecue sales rose 66 per cent last month on last September.

Mitre 10, which opened its new Mega store in Masterton on Friday, sold 400 more gas barbecues last month than in September last year and it seems fans want bigger cookers too - a third of the sales were six-burners.

"A six-burner is about as large as most kiwi patios and backyards can handle and anecdotally staff are telling us customers are talking about Rugby World Cup parties when they are buying the new barbecues," Elliott said.

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Decks and backyards seem to have become the favourite entertaining area while the cup is on, he says, and the trend is continuing this month.

Sales of the Weber brand of barbecue are up more than 200 per cent and charcoal sales rose too.

Mitre 10 now has 101 stores throughout New Zealand. John Beveridge, chief executive of Fletcher Distribution, which owns PlaceMakers, praised the cup for a sales boost, albeit with a rocky start.

"We've had a lift in retail DIY in the last week as RWC impact has shifted into the finals phase and there is a week between games now.

"Weekends and weekdays in September were impacted but that has now lifted last weekend with Sunday foot traffic up 20 per cent on prior Sunday, by way of example.

"Seasonal products like paint, barbecues and outdoor landscaping all got a lift. The other factor is the shift out in the school holidays and we are busier during the week at the moment as a result of delayed DIY activity from RWC, maybe less domestic travel as people were happy to holiday at home with the kids and catch up on delayed spring weekend activities like gardening, painting and watching cup games. The start of daylight saving is another bonus and drives the start of the outdoor spring clean up and barbecue season.

We are expecting Labour Weekend will be busy despite the finals," said Beveridge.

Peter Darbyshire of Bunnings said barbecue sales had been high since early August with the onset of finer spring weather.

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"This pleasing trend has continued through September and the early part of October. It is hard to put a finger on the reasons, as last year in September we had mixed weather, the Canterbury earthquake and a sales lift for higher priced product late September, pre the GST increase. The direct impact of RWC is hard to measure, but suffice to say we think it is one factor among a number which have helped kick off a good start to the barbecue season.

"We have our fingers crossed for fine and sunny weather over the next few weekends," he said.

SHOP NUMBERS
Mitre 10: 101
Bunnings: 47
PlaceMakers: 63