DYI frenzy ham­mers re­tail­ers

Hard­ware store stocks ham­mered by last-minute shop­pers

Whanganui Chronicle - - Front Page -

Whanganui hard­ware stores had a mini re­tail bo­nanza be­fore the Covid 19 lock­down as handy­men and women stocked up on DIY ma­te­ri­als for home projects.

The sales surge be­gan im­me­di­ately af­ter the Prime Min­is­ter’s an­nounce­ment at 2pm on Mon­day that level 3 re­stric­tions had come into force, Carters Whanganui man­ager Bryce Rose said.

“It was ab­so­lutely, ut­terly crazy. Our yard has been stripped of just about ev­ery­thing.”

On Tuesday, Carters did three times its nor­mal trade in one day, and it only started to die down on

Wed­nes­day. Peo­ple wanted tim­ber, fenc­ing, paint, “any­thing any­one can do at home”, Rose said.

They were plan­ning to paint houses and build fences, decks and play­houses. Many were seiz­ing the op­por­tu­nity of a month at home to work on projects they had been plan­ning.

Carters was un­able to fill all the or­ders.

It wasn’t the only out­let ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a re­tail rush.

Other hard­ware and land­scap­ing sales also hit the roof.

Through it all, Carters staff ob­served so­cial dis­tanc­ing keep­ing 2m gaps be­tween peo­ple and 2m dis­tances marked out on coun­ters.

The store is tak­ing non-contact re­stric­tions very se­ri­ously, Rose said.

It is now in lock­down, un­der alert level 4 re­stric­tions.

The only ex­cep­tion will be sup­plies for crit­i­cal build­ing work, such as work at Whanganui Hospi­tal that must carry on.

Those or­ders will be han­dled without hu­man contact, Rose said.

“We will take the or­der by phone, make it up and put it in a col­lec­tion point for them to col­lect.”

When the store re-opens it will have to be fully re­stocked — which can­not be done dur­ing the na­tion­wide lock­down.

Photo / Be­van Con­ley

Carters Whanganui man­ager Bryce Rose takes a break from the re­tail frenzy.

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