A kind of semi-lockdown has been in effect for hardware stores for a month.

The stores are closed, but unlike other stores they are allowed to offer click & collect.

It took some effort to adjust the business operations accordingly and the DIY stores also have to deal with the logistical limitations of the delivery services.

After peak months, turnover is therefore declining, the major hardware stores tell NU.nl.

"Normally we have ten checkouts open, now we have one pick-up counter", the Hornbach spokesperson sums it up.

"But we cannot complain because we had a very good year and now just have to deal with the situation as well as possible."

Due to the current measures, the corona handyman seems a bit worn out.

"That is not the fault of the consumer, they still want to, but the options are simply not there."

Quickly ordering something and getting it delivered is not possible these days with the overloaded delivery services and those who use click & collect also have to wait and often stand in line - outside - to collect the order.

"Then people drop out", says the Hornbach spokesperson.

"We turn with the handbrake on."

Intergamma, of the DIY stores GAMMA and Karwei, states that turnover has more than halved.

"You miss the in-store advice and spontaneous sales," said a company spokesperson.

It also took a lot of effort and still has to change the entire organization.

"You also have no idea in advance how many people will use the ordering and collection."

The Intergamma stores were closed a day after the lockdown announcement and gradually transformed the stores into well-oiled collection points.

"We have continuously expanded the range that can be ordered online. Completing the orders takes a lot of work and we are not going to build this system until a Mercedes, so to speak. After all, we don't know how long this will take."

Even if something is simply broken

The turnover at Praxis is also lower than before the lockdown, but according to the chain, consumers know where to find the 'order and pick up'.

"Which is a good alternative to home delivery when you need something quickly."

At the Praxis stores, you can pick up the items ordered online in the store after just two hours.

"Especially people who are moving or in the middle of a big job are very happy that they can come to us, or if something is simply broken of course."

For the latter reason, it is also permitted that the DIY stores are allowed to offer click & collect, unlike other stores.

The Association of Retail Chains in the DIY Industry (VWDHZ) is happy about this.

"Of course we prefer that the shops can remain open, but it is also nice for the consumer that they can still go to the hardware store for repairs or renovations."