Construction materials shortage: Which building merchants have been affected during the coronavirus pandemic?

Last updated: 20th May 2021

Building merchants and related stores have been confirmed as essential retail by the government during the coronavirus pandemic. However, due to high demand during this time amongst other factors, there is currently a shortage of construction materials. This has also led to an increase in the prices of some products.

To help you find the materials you need to continue working during this period, we’ve put together a list of updates from popular UK builders’ merchants, including the services available, any extra steps you need to take as a customer and changes to opening times.

Building merchants open for browsing and purchasing


Building merchants: Screwfix logo

All stores are open for browsing and Click & Collect. Home and site delivery is also available. Delivery times are currently longer than usual and some product lines might be limited.

Kingfisher plc (the owner of Screwfix and B&Q) recently said that some of their suppliers have faced a challenge in keeping up with high order levels due to the coronavirus pandemic and a container ship blockage in the Suez Canal. However, they’ve said that they’ll try to keep costs down. They’ve also asked customers to shop responsibly and only buy what’s necessary.

In light of the construction materials shortage, Screwfix has clearly labelled any products with low stock on their website, so you can plan ahead. They’ve also said they’re working with their suppliers to fix any issues with stock.

Orders made by customers in Northern Ireland might be delayed due to Brexit and the possibility of increased traffic and congestion at ferry ports.

Using Click and Collect keeps you safe by:

  • Allowing you to browse safely on your own device.
  • Letting you check stock online so that you can reduce the number of unnecessary journeys you’re taking.
  • Giving you SMS confirmation that your product is ready for you to pick up. Don’t visit a store to collect your order unless you’ve received confirmation that it’s ready.
  • Reducing the amount of time you spend in store.

For home and site deliveries, you’ll get an email once your order’s on it’s way. On the delivery day, you’ll get an SMS with a time slot. Many Click & Collect orders will be ready in 1 minute, but others can take between 24 and 48 hours to arrive in your selected store. Make sure you’ve got your ‘Ready to collect’ SMS before heading to the store.

You can also visit a store to place an order for home delivery or click and collect. Stores are open from 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 6pm on Saturdays. On Sundays, opening hours are 9am to 4pm/1pm to 6pm in NI. You should check your local store’s opening hours before visiting, as some have been reduced or changed.

In terms of coronavirus safety procedures, stores are operating a one-way system and have signage and floor stickers to help you with this.

Visit the Screwfix website for updates on delivery and store openings.


Building merchants: Jewson logo

Stores are open for browsing or purchasing, and home delivery and Click and Collect services are running.

Jewson’s April stock update says that they have good availability of their Blue Tick range and certain landscaping products during the construction materials shortage. However, they also have:

  • Introduced an allocation process for cement. This means that certain products are limited to 5 per order.
  • Less availability of imported carcassing due to increased demand and an increase in shipments of timber to America.
  • Increased the prices of certain drainage and timber products. You can see the exact percentage increases on the Jewson website.
  • Additional lead times for orders of some landscaping products, such as fencing and sandstone, and some timber items, such as imported carcassing and battens.
  • Less availability of cement and kiln dried sand in plastic bags. They’re recommending that you swap these items for alternatives in plastic bags or ‘tough bags’.

You can shop with Jewson:

  • Online, using your smartphone, tablet or PC for local branch collection within an hour (if ordered before 4pm) or delivery to site (if ordered before 12pm). You can find out if your local branch is offering Click and Collect using the Branch Finder.
  • In branch, to collect materials or Tool Hire.

All site deliveries will be made within social distancing guidelines. The driver will contact you by phone before making your delivery. They’ll also deliver to the kerbside and you won’t have to sign any paperwork.

Keep up to date with any changes to Jewson’s operations on their website.

Selco Builders Warehouse

Selco Builders Warehouse logo

All branches are open for browsing and purchasing, as well as for Click & Collect and Click & Deliver services.

However, Selco has said they’re facing extremely high demand for certain products. So, they’re working with their suppliers every day to increase stock levels of these items. Due to the demand, they’re only able to deliver within a 10 mile radius of each branch. They’ll also limit the number of people in store, as necessary.

During this time, the times and dates available for Click & Collect may be limited. Plus, it’s unavailable on Sundays at the moment.

To help keep you safe, Selco is:

  • Encouraging all customers to pay with card or contactless where possible.
  • Using 2-metre markers to help you and staff maintain social distancing, including queue markers.
  • Using protective screening at tills and trade counters.
  • Implementing strict cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place.

In-branch services, such as sheet material cutting, paint matching and brick matching, are available at all branches. Plus, selected cafes are open for dining in and takeaways. Use the Branch Finder to find out the opening hours for your local branch.

For more FAQs, visit


B&Q logo

All stores are open for browsing and purchasing.

In line with local restrictions, some areas within individual stores are closed.

Kingfisher plc (the owner of B&Q and Screwfix) recently said that some of their suppliers have faced a challenge in keeping up with high order levels due to the coronavirus pandemic and a container ship blockage in the Suez Canal. However, they’ve said that they’ll try to keep costs down. They’ve also asked customers to shop responsibly and only buy what’s necessary.

You can use the 1 hour Click and Collect service at your local store. If you place your order within an hour of the store closing, your items will be ready to collect the next day.

B&Q have found that their stores are quieter in the morning and late afternoon, so they’re advising customers to come during those times to beat the queues.

Home deliveries are still running – you can place your order on This includes standard delivery, named day delivery, bulk delivery and same day delivery. Deliveries are currently running on time, but if this changes then the delivery crew will contact you ahead of time.

B&Q has made some changes to the way they deliver their orders. This includes:

  • Most orders will be delivered to the front door.
  • Some items will be delivered to the kerb outside the home or to a ground floor room. You’ll get an email before your delivery date if that’s the case. If you don’t want the delivery team to enter your property, they can leave your order by your front door.
  • The delivery team will conduct a risk assessment at the time of delivery.

Stores have social distancing measures in place, including sanitiser stations, 2metre floor markers and perspex screens at checkouts.

Stay up to date with any changes to these services on the B&Q website.

Travis Perkins

Building merchants: Travis Perkins logo

All branches are open, including for delivery and free 1 hour Click & Collect.

Travis Perkins has said that there may be supply issues with certain products and that it’s best to contact your local branch if you need to. They’ve also asked customers not to over order.

Online orders can be placed for home or site deliveries between Monday and Sunday. However, they are currently facing a high volume of orders. All deliveries will be made to the kerbside and will need a signature. If the delivery team deems the delivery location to be unsafe (locations with overhead power cables present, for example) then they will contact you to rearrange delivery.

Tool hire is also available too – check out Travis’ Perkins video below to find out how it works.

Take a look at Travis Perkins’ FAQs and service updates here.

Wolseley UK

Wolseley logo

All branches are open for browsing and purchasing.

Wolseley asks that you check for any disruptions to service or supply at the branch you’d like to visit using their branch finder, before heading there.

They have also put additional procedures in place to ensure that products are available as normal, including:

  • Working with their suppliers to maximise output and schedule deliveries into their sites.
  • Finding alternative products for you if there are any supply issues.
  • Setting up COVID-19 safety measures within Distribution Centres to reduce the risk of a full shutdown (which would lead to supply delays).
  • Implementing COVID-19 safety measures in store and setting up risk assessments and guidelines for drivers and supplier deliveries.

Deliveries are available to a home, office or site. However, Wolseley has said that they are prioritising delivery for essential services until further notice. Visit their delivery page for real-time updates for your area.

Express Delivery (arrives the next working day) is available. However, this service has been impacted by UPS relaxing transit times until further notice. This means that pre-12pm Express Delivery orders will be delivered by 2pm and pre-10:30am orders will be delivered by 12pm.

Some Express Delivery services aren’t available in certain locations:

  • Next Day (pre-5pm): Northern Ireland and Channel Islands.
  • Pre-10:30 am and pre-12pm: Highlands & Islands, Northern Ireland, Cornwall and Channel Islands.

At the time of writing, deliveries outside of County Antrim and County Down in Northern Ireland are only available to Trade Account holders by prior arrangement. Get in touch with your local branch to discuss this.

Click and Collect services are also available for all customers, from their 450 branches. You can check whether a product is available for collection using the ‘Check Stock Availability’ button on the product page.

For a list of the branches that are temporarily closed, contact details of Wolseley’s customer service team and any service updates, check out their website.


Wickes logo

All stores and showrooms are open for browsing and purchasing.

Stores have social distancing measures in place, including one-way systems and trolley cleaning. On 26th April 2021, Wickes put some extra safety steps in place within stores in areas identified as high risk for the new coronavirus variant. These stores will remain open but there is now a limit of 20 customers in store at one time and only 2 people can shop together. A queue system is in place.

Home deliveries are still running, and delivery slots are available up to 7 days in advance. Additional delivery slots are released daily.

Contactless Click and Collect is also available 7 days a week, and orders will usually be ready to collect from your local store within 1 working hour after placing your order. It can occasionally take longer than this, so make sure you’ve received confirmation that your order’s ready to collect before heading to your local store.

Wickes is also offering a free virtual showroom kitchen & bathroom design service. Design appointments are only available virtually.

Check the Wickes website for the latest service updates.


Building merchants: Toolstation logo

All stores are open for browsing, purchasing and Click & Collect.

Home deliveries are also available. This includes delivery direct from the supplier. Specific delivery times will be displayed on the relevant product pages; these will depend on the supplier and the type of product. If your order contains items that come direct from Screwfix as well as from a supplier, then your order will be split into multiple deliveries, which may have different lead times.

You can place an order for Click and Collect by:

  • Ordering your items on Make sure to provide your mobile phone number so that you can get confirmation that your order is ready to collect.
  • Going to the store you’ve ordered your products to, only after you’ve got your text. Stores are open for Click and Collect from 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 4pm on Sundays. Some stores have different exceptions – visit the Toolstation website for more info.
  • Sticking to the 2metre social distancing guidelines whilst a store colleague shows you to the collection point at the entrance of the store.
  • Quoting your surname and the last 4 digits of your order number at the collection point.
  • Waiting to be called to step forward and then for the colleague to step back before picking up your items.

Branches are open from 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 4pm on Sundays. However, some stores have special opening hours – find out which ones on the Toolstation website.

Home and site deliveries are available, too. This includes:

  • Next Business Day, for orders placed before 9pm Monday to Thursday and before 6pm on Sunday.
  • Saturday delivery (when placed before 6pm on Friday) and Sunday delivery (when placed before 4pm on Saturday).
  • Pre-12 delivery is now available for the UK mainland only. Place your order before 9pm, Monday to Thursday. Orders placed after that, or before 6pm on Sunday, will be delivered by 12pm on Monday.

For more coronavirus updates on in-store shopping, Click & Collect and home delivery services, go to the Toolstation website.

If you, or a homeowner that you’re carrying work out for, show any symptoms of coronavirus, don’t start or continue any work, and make sure to follow the NHS self-isolation requirements.

Note: The government has confirmed that there is no limit to the group size when you are meeting or gathering for work. But, workplaces should be set up to meet the COVID-secure guidelines – follow the government’s guidance on how to return to work safely.

Note: Countries may approach the different phases of lockdown differently. This guidance is in line with the UK government’s advice and is being followed in England. See the specific government websites for any differences.

For advice on staying safe whilst working, take a look at our tips. If you have any questions about working during this period, check out our Coronavirus: FAQs for tradespeople.

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