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Coronavirus: what you need to know about shopping for DIY supplies

With plenty of DIY and homeware shops now open, we’ve rounded up the key things to know before you plan a store visit

Coronavirus: what you need to know about shopping for DIY supplies

After weeks of lockdown, DIY stores B&Q and Homebase have now reopened all their stores. On 1 June, Ikea opened its doors to some stores in England and Northern Ireland to enormous queues of shoppers.

When lockdown began, the UK’s DIY retailers responded by closing physical stores while they worked out how to safely reopen to their customers.

Some, such as B&Q, Screwfix and Toolstation, continued to operate a click and collect service to allow people to make their essential purchases. But with lockdown measures easing back, DIY and some homeware retailers have largely reopened fully – albeit with strict social distancing conditions in place.

The coronavirus safety measures to expect in DIY stores

Generally, all retailers are limiting the number of people in store at any one time, and DIY stores are no exception. Expect designated outdoor queuing areas, with one-way systems and two-metre floor markers inside.

Checkouts may have perspex screens and most shops aren’t accepting cash. Hand sanitiser should be available, and card machines and trolleys regularly cleaned.

The government now advises that everyone wears face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible.


Read more: where to buy facemasks and how to make your own


For all retailers, it’s important to bear in mind that each UK nation is setting out different plans to ease restrictions further in the coming days, so it’s best to check locally for the up-to-date position on a particular store.

Find out more about how non-essential retailers plan to protect staff and shoppers in our guide to the latest on reopening UK shops.

Read on to find out what policies retailers have put in place, so you can visit knowing what to expect.

DIY retailers and coronavirus policies

B&Q

B&Q asks that you don’t bring anyone with you who is under 16 or shop in a group of more than two, and that you have a shopping list ready when entering the store, so staff members can direct you to where you need to go.

Stores are generally open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Check locally for specific opening hours. It’s generally quieter first thing in the morning and in the late afternoon.

Dunelm

All Dunelm stores in England and Northern Ireland have now opened. You can’t shop in groups of more than two.

If you don’t want to enter the store, but haven’t placed a click and collect order, you can use ‘pick while you wait’ – you remain outside, order online and a member of staff will bring your items out to you.

Stores in Wales and Scotland remain closed, but you can still use click and collect services.

Dunelm is also trialling virtual shopping at its Redditch and Erdington stores. You can make an appointment for a video call and a member of staff will take you around the store to browse and shortlist your options. Anyone can use this service, even if these locations are not your local stores.

Homebase

All Homebase stores are now open. You can visit its store locator to find details of how many people are allowed in each store at any one time, as well as opening hours.

Ikea

In England and Northern Ireland, some Ikea stores reopened on Monday 1 June. Stores in Scotland and Wales remain closed.

Planning studios and collection points remain closed as do play areas and in store restaurants. A takeaway service and its food market are open.

Ikea’s Coventry store, which was due to close down later this summer, will not be reopening.

The retailer is also planning to launch a click and collect service.

Screwfix

Screwfix’s stores are open for click and collect, and are open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday (only to 4pm on Wednesdays) and 9am to 4pm Sunday (1pm to 6pm in Northern Ireland).

The collect next-day service may be subject to some delays and take up to three days, so check that your order is ready before making a trip.

Toolstation

Stores are open for click and collect from 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 4pm on Sundays. No products will be available that require more than one person to lift.

Wickes

All Wickes stores are open, but a small number are only offering click and collect order collections. See a full list of stores that are fully open and when.

If you’re keen to get on with planning your kitchen project, virtual appointments are available.

Read more: Can you still plan a kitchen renovation in lockdown?

Wilko

Stores are open, but are closing 30 minutes early at 5pm to allow for thorough cleaning.

Stay up to date on what the latest lockdown measures mean for consumers at the Which? coronavirus hub.

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