B&Q, Homebase and Wickes reopen more DIY stores

B&Q, Homebase and Wickes reopen more DIY stores

DIY retailers B&Q, Homebase and Wickes have reopened a raft of stores after closing their doors in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Hardware stores were named as essential retailers by the Government last month but they still largely shut their doors temporarily due to the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Homebase said it had reopened another 50 sites following a successful trial across 20 stores which it opened last week.

The retailer said its remaining UK outlets will all be reopened for customers to browse and shop from Saturday.

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Pictures of the week: April 26 - May 2
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Pictures of the week: April 26 - May 2
A worker removes a swastika spray painted on a sign at the entrance to a closed road and car park near Whitley Bay lighthouse, Northumberland. Graffiti has appeared on signs at several car parks along the Northumberland coastal road as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A sheep with a rainbow painted on its side in a field near Dunblane as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A blue postbox in support of the NHS outside St Thomas's Hospital in central London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A fox enjoys an allotment to himself during an afternoon in Earlsfield as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A cyclist wearing a face mask rides past closed up shops on Portobello Road in West London as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Maggie the giraffe stands with a sign showing support for the NHS at ZSL London Zoo, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man wearing a personal protective equipment suit uses a backpack of pressurized spray disinfectant water to remove covid-19 from the street at Queens Market in Upton Park, east London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Tuesday April 28, 2020.
A security man wearing protective personal equipment controls a queue outside a branch of Natwest Bank in East Ham, east London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Tuesday April 28, 2020.
A woman walks past rainbow NHS graffiti on one of the gates to a mansion in Woolsingham in Newcastle as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man passes graffiti reading 'cov 19: hoax', in south London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
A member of the military sprays disinfectant at a Covid-19 testing centre in Boston, Lincolnshire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A police horse arrives at a free drive-through for the emergency services at The Berkeley Hotel as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Disposable gloves pegged on a washing line in south London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
A Metroline worker cleans a bus at Willesden Bus Garage in north west London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Tuesday April 28, 2020.
Travellers at a largely empty Waterloo station, in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Police patrol the Scotland-England border on the A68 near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Cyclists ride in Waterloo, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A graffiti depicting an NHS ambulance by street artist Nathan Bowen in central London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Monday April 27, 2020.
Solent Transport conducts a test flight of its drone at Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire. Drones are due to deliver NHS supplies to Isle of Wight. as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A view of dinghies tied up at The Port of Dover in Kent following being seized by Border Force officers after they were used in recent migrant crossing across The Channel as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Police officers patrol in the Meadows in Edinburgh as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A couple view the empty beach in Broadstairs, Kent, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Volunteers from the Step to Hope charity carry meals to give to those who want one in the grounds of The Parish Church of St Cuthbert in Edinburgh. The charity in Edinburgh which is handing out meals to the homeless, normally meals are served inside the church, however due to restrictions these are being handed outside to the homeless as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Brighton seafront reflects off the British Airways i360 on a sunny day as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A man walks past a colourful message outside of a shop saying 'Choose to do the things you love' in Brighton as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A colourful window display in Hove thanks the NHS staff and key workers as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Benches are wrapped in tape at a cafe on Hove seafront as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Two women water plants at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where cemeteries are reopening to the public this weekend, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A lady in a mask walks on the beach in Margate, Kent, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public walk along the beach front at Portobello as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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Damian McGloughlin, chief executive officer at Homebase, said: "We have taken this time to carefully review and make a large number of changes to our operations in preparation for a safe, phased reopening, in line with Government guidance on social distancing.

"It has taken a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment from our teams across all parts of the business to ensure we are ready to safely welcome customers back through our doors.

"I'm extremely grateful for the dedication shown by every single team member, and to our customers, for the huge support and understanding."

B&Q, which was one of the first to reopen stores, said on Wednesday it is now welcoming customers to 285 of its outlets.

It said it is "strictly limiting the number of customers in store at any one time" and has placed two-metre markers outside its shops to help people in queues socially distance.

Graham Bell, B&Q chief executive officer, said: "During this time of self-isolation and social distancing, we're all learning new ways of living and shopping. We've watched how other essential retailers have supported social distancing in their stores and followed their best practice with trials at 14 stores.

"Following the success of the trials, with customers adhering to our social distancing measures, we've now opened over half of our stores.

"We're confident that our strict social distancing measures keep customers and colleagues safe while helping homes and gardens, as well as people's wellbeing, to be maintained."

Meanwhile, Wickes has launched a trial to reopen six stores with new social distancing measures in place.

It said stores in Pudsey, Cheltenham, Preston, Sevenoaks, Cricklewood and Hailsham will open to the public on Thursday.

The retailer said the trial stores will operate shorter opening hours on Monday to Saturday, opening from 7am to 6pm.

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