Hardware stores boom as New Zealanders get back into DIY

Hardware stores are among the retailers allowed to open their doors under level 2.

DIY supplies were sorely missed in lockdown, and Kiwis eagerly stocked up on Saturday so they can get stuck in again.

Shoppers at Bunnings in Christchurch were glad to be back in the hardware store after a long seven weeks.

"We have our charcoal and I'm gonna do some grouting and the wife wanted some compost mix as well," one shopper told Newshub.

Mitre 10 has been busy too with sales through the roof compared to this time last year.

  • Green goods are up 470 percent
  • Gardening supplies up 370 percent
  • Paint is up by 340 percent
  • Power tools are up 270 percent

But level 2 precautions mean it's far from hardware as usual.

"You have to control the customers and how they are coming in and how many are coming in. And we have a spit protector on the counter," Hammer Hardware manager Taylor Mansfield says.

At Bunnings it's a similar story. The chain is limiting the number of customers allowed in, encouraging contactless payments, and supplying hand sanitiser.

But as many rush for the tools, the professionals have a word of caution for DIYers who could be a little rusty.

"We have done such a great job of looking after ourselves we don't want people hurting themselves in their homes right now," Registered Master Builders Association CEO David Kelly says.

For one Wellington DIYer, lockdown forced the creative juices to flow. He made a fence out of limited materials.

"There was an old shed and an old windbreak but the timber was still good so managed to put it together with a few bits of two-by-four from the garage," Alex Whitney says.

A reminder that with or without the shops open - there's always room Kiwi ingenuity.