DYI frenzy hammers retailers
Hardware store stocks hammered by last-minute shoppers
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.
Carters Whanganui manager Bryce Rose takes a break from the retail frenzy.