Covid-19: B&Q and Dunelm turn to click-and-collect to keep customers safe

It’s called the Covid click-and-collect effect. Increasing numbers of retailers are ramping up their buy online/pickup instore operations in a bid to reduce pressure on home delivery, limit customers’ on-premise dwell time and cut the risk of coronavirus infection.

B&Q, a retailer that is likely to see a short-term increase in business, is the latest retailer to boost its click-and-collect operation, with customer orders picked and ready within four hours at most stores.

Dunelm coronavirus Delivery to vehicle

The DIY giant is following the lead of retailers including Dunelm, which last week announced that click-and-collect customers don’t even need to enter their stores.

They simply call the local branch when they arrive in the car park and a member of the sales team will deliver to their vehicle.

B&Q has also taken steps to keep browsing customers safe with notices reminding shoppers to stick to government guidelines and keep two metres apart in all of its 296 stores as well as “safe-space” markings at checkouts.

Demand for DIY

Graham Bell, chief executive officer for B&Q (pictured), said in a statement: “Over the last few days, we have seen increasing numbers of customers keen to make home improvement purchases.

“We recognise the important role homes will play in all our lives over the coming weeks and months especially. For most of us they will be where we work, rest and play.

“We also play an important role in providing an essential service for those who have emergency repairs to make in their homes to keep them safe and warm at this time.

“That said, it’s important to us that we prioritise our colleagues’ and customers’ safety.

Customer and colleague safety first

“Please keep safe and look after yourselves and your loved ones as a priority.”

Meanwhile major retailers including M&S and Next have also rolled-out contactless delivery systems so that customers can exercise social distancing when they take receipt of their order on the doorstep.

Customers can choose to have this when they are ordering, and the item will be left at an arranged location outside of their home.

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