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Which shops are open? And what is non-essential retail? Latest lockdown rules explained.

Bira, the British Independent Retail Association, has provided an update about the latest lockdown rules for retailers:

  • On November 5, all ‘non-essential’ retailers were required to close for the second time this year as part of the Government’s measures to curb rising cases of coronavirus.
  • Bira has been lobbying for clarity over the types of retailers allowed to remain open, and the types of products which can be sold.
  • Bira has liaising with representatives from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Government has now provided some clarification of the terms of trade.
  • While there are no restrictions on what a mixed retail space can sell, businesses with distinct areas of ‘non-essential’ and ‘essential’ products must close access to the areas of ‘non-essential goods’. Similarly, in store concessions selling non-essential items are prohibited.
  • However, Bira does not believe this goes far enough and will be continuing to lobby for Homeware and Cookware retailers to be classed as ‘essential’. Bira is continuing to push Govt through our conversations with BEIS on the importance of the sector and will keep all members, retail and supplier partners updated.
  • Bira are working with our colleagues at  BHETA to ensure all suppliers in the industry are kept up to date.
  • Please see the latest government guidance here

All English non-essential shops will be closed until Wednesday 2nd December.

Here is the latest update of home enhancement retailers staying open and closing during this time… (as of 11am on 5 November)


  • Home Bargains
  • B&M
  • Wilko
  • The Range
  • Halfords

DIY chains – open

Under the new government guidelines Hardware stores will be able to stay open.

  • B&Q stores will remain open with strong controls and strict social distancing measures in place. B&Q will continue to offer a click + collect service along with home delivery through their website.
  • All Homebase stores will remain open across the UK and Ireland. Customers still can utilise their Click + Collect service.
  • Wickes stores will remain open, customers also have the option to use their Click + Collect and/or contactless delivery.
  • All Toolstation branches will be open during lockdown, customers will be able to shop in store, Click + Collect or store & home delivery.
  • Screwfix’s 682 stores across the UK will remain open, however 9 stores will be working on reduced hours. Find your nearest branch here Customers can also choose from home delivery and Click + Collect through the Screwfix website.

Trade – open

Builders Merchants can stay open as an “essential service”.

  • Buildbase, Hirebase and Electricbase branches as well as their kitchen and bathroom showrooms will remain open to both trade and DIY customers. Customers are still able to order online, over the phone or by visiting the branch for both click and collect or delivery.
  • City Plumbing/PTS trade counters, websites and deliveries will remain open to offer an uninterrupted service.
  • Howdens depots are open for existing account holders with social distancing measures in place. Orders will be fulfilled from a safe area outside the depot and payments will be charged to a Howdens trade account, made by card, or paid over the phone, for a contactless exchange.
  • Jewsons branches will continue to remain open, customers can continue to shop in branch or online by home delivery.
  • Selco will remain open and trading during this period of lockdown with strict social distancing in place in store.
  • Travis Perkins and Benchmarx will remain open online and in branch where it is safe to do, here is a list of local branch opening times.
  • The majority of Wolseley stores remain open, with some temporary closures.

Garden centres – open

It has been announced Garden Centres across England and Scotland are able to remain open. In Wales stores remain closed during the fire break lockdown and plan to reopen on Monday 9th November.

  • Blue Diamond centres will remain open, with the exception of their restaurants and cafes which will be closed. Customers can continue to enjoy shopping instore, online or via their Click and Collect service.
  • Dobbies Garden Centres across England will remain open, you can find their latest update here.
  • Notcutts will remain open during lockdown, customers can also shop via their website, however deliveries are taking longer than usual.
  • Hillier Garden Centres will remain open during this period of lockdown.
  • Cherry Lane Garden Centres are open for business.

Homewares – closed

Under the new Government guidelines all non-essential stores across England are required to close during the four weeks of lockdown from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December .

  • Dunelm stores in England are now temporarily closed. Shoppers can still use their Click & Collect service, Dunelm have extended their returns policy all purchases on or after November 1st 2020 until the 31st January 2021.
  • John Lewis temporarily have closed their shops in England from 5th November, but will be open for Click & Collect only, as per the Government guidelines.
  • Argos stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets and stand alone stores in England will be open for collection on pre-paid online orders only, collections from stand alone stores will be given to customers outside the door. Shoppers will not be able to purchase items in any store. Argos’ home delivery and installation services will still be available.
  • All Matalan stores across England are now temporarily closed and hope to reopen in early December. Shoppers can continue to shop online or via their app. Their Click and Collect service remains available at stores.

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