Last updated: 5th January 2021
The government has confirmed that building merchants and some related stores are essential retail during the coronavirus pandemic. So, they can stay open during the respective COVID-19 lockdowns across the UK. Specific examples of businesses allowed to stay open, provided by the government, include:
- England (in a national lockdown from 5th January 2021): Building merchants, suppliers of building products and garden centres.
- Wales (at alert level 4 from Friday 20th December 2020): Hardware shops, shops selling building supplies and equipment, plant and tool hire.
- Northern Ireland (additional restrictions in place from Saturday 26th December 2020): Building supplies and hardware stores (equipment for building maintenance and repairs, for example keys, locks, nuts, screws, washers, hinges, latches, handles, wire, chains, belts, plumbing supplies, electrical supplies, tools, and machine parts). Garden centres must stay closed.
- Scotland (mainland in temporary lockdown from 5th January 2021): Building merchants and suppliers of products and tools used in building work and repairs. Garden centres must stay closed.
This is because the services offered by UK tradespeople ensure that homes, emergency services and supermarkets across the country can run safely during this period. So, we’ve put together a list of the services that some popular building merchants are offering to tradespeople continuing to work during this time.
Building merchants open for browsing and purchasing
Most stores are open for browsing and purchasing. Some stores are facing short-term local disruption, so may be temporarily closed. Check their branch finder for up-to-date opening times, before heading to a store.
Home and site 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.
Click and Collect services are also available for all customers, from their 450 branches.
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.
Most stores are open for browsing and purchasing. In line with local government guidance, some stores are closed for browsing, such as B&Q garden centres in Wales and showrooms in Scotland.
Open stores have social distancing measures in place, including sanitiser stations, 2metre floor markers, perspex screens at checkouts and card/contactless payments only. B&Q are also asking that shoppers limit their groups to no more than four people, including children.
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. For later shoppers, stores are open until 8pm Monday to Saturday, and until 4pm on Sundays.
You can also use the contact-free, next day Click and Collect service at your local store. If you’re self-isolating, then someone can collect your order on your behalf as long as they have a copy of your order confirmation and their own photo ID.
Home deliveries for small and large items are still running – you can place your order on www.diy.com. Deliveries are currently running on time, but if this changes then the delivery team will contact you by phone or email. Delivery costs between £5 – £30, depending on the size of your order.
B&Q are sticking to the government’s social distancing guidelines by placing your delivery on your doorstep, knocking on your door and then stepping back to a safe distance whilst you collect your item. If you’d rather not open your door, the delivery driver will take a picture of the delivery outside your door as proof of delivery. You won’t need to sign anything either, to reduce contact.
Late returns are being accepted if you can’t return a product due to current restrictions, as long as you meet the other terms of their returns policy. You can find FAQs on returns and refunds during this period on diy.com.
Stay up to date with any changes to these services on the B&Q website.
All stores and showrooms are open for browsing and purchasing. Stores have social distancing measures in place, including one-way systems, trolley cleaning and card payments only.
Wickes are also limiting the number of customers in their stores at one time to a maximum of 30. There’s a queue system in place as part of this.
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, usually within 1 working hour after you’ve placed 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.
Showrooms are open for browsing, but 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.
Selco Builders Warehouse
All branches are open for browsing and purchasing, as well as for Click & Collect and Click & Deliver services.
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.
- Limiting the flow of people entering stores where necessary, to ensure branches don’t get too busy.
- 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 on weekdays (takeaway only). Use the Branch Finder to find out the opening hours for your local branch.
At the moment, Selco can only deliver within a 10 mile radius of each branch, due to high demand.
All Click & Collect orders will be made to the kerbside, whilst you stay 2metres away, and Click & Collect will be in-store with social distancing in place. Selco has said that the Click & Collect service may be limited due to high demand and availability of stock. For more FAQs, visit selcobw.com.
Any product returns will be at the manager’s discretion – call your local branch to discuss.
All stores are open for browsing, purchasing and refunds. Contactless Click & Collect is also available 7 days a week. You’ll only be able to order from a reduced range of essential products; these won’t need more than 1 person to lift them.
You can place an order for Click and Collect by:
- Ordering your items on www.toolstation.com. 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. Next Business Day (when placed before 5pm) and Saturday and Sunday (when placed before 4pm the previous day) delivery options are available. The Pre-12 delivery option is also now available for the UK mainland. Place your order before 6pm Monday – Friday for next business day delivery by 12pm.
Delivery direct from the supplier is now available – specific delivery times will be displayed on the relevant product pages.
Toolstation’s 30 day money back guarantee has now resumed. PPE products such as gloves, masks and respirators are currently non-returnable. For more coronavirus updates on in-store shopping, Click & Collect and home delivery services, go to the Toolstation website.
Most stores are open for browsing and contactless click and collect.
Stores are open from 7am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 6pm on Saturdays. On Sundays, opening hours are 9am – 4pm/1pm – 6pm in NI. You should check your local store’s opening hours before visiting, as some have been reduced or changed.
You can also visit a store to place an order for home delivery or click and collect. Screwfix has said that it’s quicker to place your order online, though.
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.
Home and site delivery is also available, and it will usually take between 24-48 hours to receive your order. Some product lines might be limited – stock availability can be seen on the Screwfix website.
If you place an order, make sure to provide your mobile phone number so that they can text you with updates on your order’s progress.
You can also return or exchange products in store – find out more on the Screwfix website.
Visit the Screwfix website for updates on delivery and store openings.
Stores are open for browsing or purchasing, and home delivery and Click and Collect services are now running.
You can order:
- Online, using your smartphone, tablet or PC for local branch collection or delivery to site.
- In branch, by calling or emailing your local branch to order the products you need for collection. Or, you can visit a branch to browse.
- For site delivery, by booking it online or contacting your local branch.
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.
Click and Collect is available one hour after you order, if you place your order before 4pm. Orders placed after 4pm will be available to collect the next working day. You can find out if your local branch is offering Click and Collect using the Branch Finder.
Keep up to date with any changes to Jewson’s operations on their website.
All branches are open, including for delivery and Click & Collect. Collections are by appointment only – contact the branch you’d like to collect from by phone or email to arrange one. You’ll need to stick to the 2metre social distancing guidelines when you go to collect your order.
Online orders can be placed for home or site deliveries. You’ll get an allocated delivery slot, as well as a call when your order is leaving the warehouse/branch and its ETA. If the delivery driver feels that they can’t delivery your order with full social distancing in place, then your order won’t be delivered.
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.
Building merchants across the UK have united in ‘Trades Against the Virus’, to support people in need. They’re acting as drop-off points for tradespeople to donate items to foodbanks during the coronavirus crisis. Read more on Builders Merchants Journal.
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.