HARDWARE store Homebase has temporarily closed all of its stores amid the coronavirus crisis – but you can still order home deliveries.
It comes after the government ordered all non-essential shops to shut to help stop the spread of the virus.
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Hardware stores are technically classed as essential and are allowed to remain open, but like competitors Screwfix, B&Q and Wickes, Homebase has closed its stores to customers.
Homebase had initially reassured customers that it would remain open during the lockdown, as its large out of town locations meant that it would be easier to observe social distancing rules.
This is where people are told they should stand at least two metres – six feet – apart to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and relieve the pressure on the NHS.
But following an update on government guidance which deemed the chain as being non-essential, it stopped letting customers in stores from 6pm on March 25.
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In a statement posted on its website, chief executive Damian McGloughlin said: “We are now working through the best way to continue providing communities with access to essential products, while prioritising the safety of our team members and customers during this unprecedented time.”
The hardware chain is still operating an online delivery service, although there’s a delay of up to three days on some items, according to its website.
Standard delivery is free of charge while next day or named day delivery costs £6.
But it has temporarily suspended its store collection service due to “unforeseen high demand”.
Homebase hasn’t said when it expects to open its click and collect service again.
The DIY store also warned that online promotions may be withdrawn at late notice due to high demand.
The retailer hopes this will ensure that everyone gets what they need and discourage stockpiling.
It has also temporarily stopped design consultations for kitchen and bathroom fittings, although you can choose to speak to a trained design consultant over the phone instead.
Homebase is also warning that its customer service phone lines are struggling with the high volumes of demand.
“Please use the online contact form for any queries and a member of our team will respond to your query as soon as possible,” a statement online reads.
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You can find a full list of the stores that will remain open here.