Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Is DIY dead – or are we just changing the way we improve our homes?

PUBLISHED: 14:48 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 16 August 2018

Ipswich Homebase is threatened with closure. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Ipswich Homebase is threatened with closure. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Archant

The threatened closure of Ipswich’s last remaining Homebase store has prompted comments that people are doing much less DIY than they have in the past – but is that true?

As that store prepares to close, elsewhere in town Screwfix – owned by B&Q parent company Kingfisher – is preparing to open a new outlet in Cavendish Street.

Paul Geater looks at our approach to DIY - and asks what you would do if your tap were leaking or you needed to build a flat pack wardrobe.

B&Q itself closed one of its two superstores in Ipswich two years ago – that has now been converted into a number of smaller units at the Anglia Retail Park, including The Range, which are attracting more customers than were previously seen there.

Discount stores like The Range and B&M are continuing to open across the country selling a small range of DIY goods alongside other household items.

Screwfix is opening a third store in Ipswich Picture: SCREWFIXScrewfix is opening a third store in Ipswich Picture: SCREWFIX

Screwfix and its main competitor Toolstation have a retail set-up similar to Argos. Customers order what they want, either online or on a form available in the foyer and that item is collected from the warehouse within a minute or two.

They are mainly aimed at professionals or more accomplished DIYers – but are open to anyone and save the need to wander around a large warehouse looking for what you want.

Gardening departments have been a mainstay of large DIY stores like Homebase – but increasingly large garden centres like Notcutts, Bypass Nurseries at Capel, and Wyevale at Woodbridge and Sudbury have become stand-alone destinations complete with cafes and concessions.

Smaller centres are valued by gardeners because their staff tend to be knowledgeable and are able to offer advice along with the plants they sell.

Garden Centres like Notcutts in Woodbridge are becoming more popular. Picture: NOTCUTTSGarden Centres like Notcutts in Woodbridge are becoming more popular. Picture: NOTCUTTS

The huge DIY stores are struggling around the country. In Ipswich there were two Homebases – the Warren Heath store was opened when the chain was part of Sainsbury’s and there was another at Anglia Retail Park which was eventually taken over by B&Q.

What is looking unlikely is that any single retailer will want to take on the Homebase site at Warren Heath if it does close – large retail warehouses like the old B&Q at Anglia Retail Park have been split up.

And there is still no sign of a buyer for the former Toys R Us store at Copdock Mill which has been empty since that chain collapsed earlier this year.

East Anglia’s tourism industry will be devastated if Britain crashes out of the European Union, a Labour frontbencher has warned.

A family of four has been left without a place to live after a kitchen fire destroyed their flat.

Police are investigating the death of a man in the Lowestoft town centre.

A kind, family-focused Suffolk mum who died aged just 38 is being remembered at a fundraising ball in her name.

Fresh concerns have been raised over the quality of Suffolk schools as the latest data has revealed soaring numbers are being judged ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted.

A Suffolk council has been accused of “wasting” £10,000 on a “bodged job” to improve a memorial boating lake.

More than 400 runners took to Felixstowe prom this morning to take on a 10 mile race along the seafront. Can you spot yourself in our gallery?

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24