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Homebase to re-merchandise stores by task

We may pride ourselves on our handiwork around the house – but according to Homebase, modern homeowners are so lacking in DIY skills that it’s having to change the layout of its stores to help them cope.

Instead of displaying items in broad categories such as plumbing, electrical or heating, it will group them by specific tasks. So if you need to ‘Fix a leaking tap’ or ‘Put up a shelf’ then every item needed for that job – right down to the nuts, screws and bolts – will be stocked in the same place. The required tools will also be nearby.

Homebase hopes it will bring to an end the frustration of having to know what you need before you even start the job and endless running between departments.

The firm says it is making the change because the younger generation is no longer picking up DIY skills from parents.

The overhaul was prompted by research showing that 50 years ago every young adult would have been able to wire a plug, fix a leaking tap or put up some shelves – but that is not the case today.

‘A once familiar rite of passage of family life seems to have come to an end,’ said Simon Rix of Homebase. ‘Children are now less likely to possess DIY skills than ever.

‘Yet as first time buyers look for ways to save extra cash, the necessity to learn home maintenance skills has never been greater.

‘Saving money by doing it yourself has become essential to make homes affordable for first time buyers in the middle of a housing price boom – but relatively few know how to cope.’

He added: ‘We’re breaking the mould which assumes that people who shop for DIY items are already accomplished builders. That used to be true – it’s not any more.’

Homebase has launched a major campaign to restore the tradition by showing everyone how easy it can be by holding the hands of those new to DIY.

It has become the first retailer to totally re-examine how DIY goods are displayed and sold, making it much easier for people with absolutely no DIY experience to do tasks around the home. The firm has also changed the way products are displayed online, making it easier to gain advice and buy everything they need in one place.

And a range of free online videos is being provided to novices, giving step by step instructions on how to complete each DIY job.

Source: Jaya Narain - Mail Online

28 July 2014

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