‘It’s gone crazy’ – lockdown DIY boom gives hardware stores a big sales boost

PUBLISHED: 11:09 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:09 14 October 2020

Emily Motts, who continues to run Thorns DIY along with her father and sister. Pic: Archant

Emily Motts, who continues to run Thorns DIY along with her father and sister. Pic: Archant


Bosses of DIY stores in Norfolk have seen an upturn in trade as a result of Covid.

Owen's DIY store in Hunstanton. Pic: Owen's DIYOwen's DIY store in Hunstanton. Pic: Owen's DIY

Shaun Burrell, who runs Owen’s DIY in Hunstanton, a family-run business that has been trading for 30 years, said: “It’s gone crazy, people are coming in for paint and plumbing materials. I mix paints. People have more time at home and also have more money to spend so I’ve seen a real increase in trade since the start of coronavirus.

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“My problem now is getting stock, I had a good stock level at the start of lockdown but it’s getting a bit low but I can’t complain, business is good.”

Emily Motts, who runs Thorns in Norwich, said: “Footfall in the city is definitely lower than it was this time last year, however we are doing better than we anticipated.

“During lockdown we sold a phenomenal amount of compost, seeds, fencing and garden paint, not to mention lots of emulsion and decorating goods, people definitely took lockdown as an opportunity to nurture their homes and gardens. We offered a delivery service in the Norwich area which offered free delivery on orders over £15 which was hugely successful for us and definitely helped us pull through full lockdown.

“It was so successful that we continue to offer this service now. Also, our new website which was launched at the beginning of March has been a great tool for us, and has helped to bump us sales. We are now selling all over the UK, this is definitely an area of the business we are continuing to expand.

“Also, the support of our local community how been amazing and we are very lucky that we have a very loyal customer base.”

Martyn Hagon, at Jackias Curtains, Blinds and Interiors, moved premises just two weeks before lockdown and despite lots of uncertainty also enjoyed success especially after stocking a special brand of paint.

She said: “After moving into our new shop in Boundary Road, Norwich, we weren’t sure when we would be allowed to open. On May 28, 2020 we were accepted to become a Frenchic Paint approved stockist. And the emails and messages via social media were coming in thick and fast. With the introduction of Frenchic Paint our sales started to rise and we couldn’t believe how popular this paint was. In a matter of weeks we had seen our business grow by 300pc and it’s is still climbing.

“We have customers who travel far and wide for our Frenchic Paint – if it wasn’t for this who knows where we would be right now?”

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