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UK DIY News

How prepared are you for the bad weather?

Dash System 725 x 500

Having aborted a number of recent planned shopping trips to DIY stores due to the heavy rain, it appears I am certainly not alone. Recent research conducted by Dale Office Interiors found that 93% of shoppers just wouldn’t make the shopping trip if they knew they would have to queue in the rain or bad weather before entering.

As consumers, putting off shopping trips to DIY stores is something we do regularly. We decide to push our home and garden projects back to the following weekend or even the next bank holiday because we don’t have the time, need to think about what we need for the project or simply because of bad weather.

However, for the trade, who spend much of their time visiting the Screwfix, TradePoint, Toolstation and Merchant branches around the country, they just don’t have that option. If they can’t get the product they need that day, the job’s on hold and that’s never good. To make matters worse, many of these branches tend to be physically smaller, with limited inside space, meaning the likelihood of having to queue is even greater. 

With Autumn rapidly approaching and with an anticipated second spike of the virus, it looks like social distancing is here to stay until well into 2021, if not beyond. We’ve been very fortunate with relatively good weather so far in 2020, but from what I can see, the majority of retailers and trade outlets simply aren’t prepared for when the weather turns.

If they’re not providing some form of protection from the elements, their customers whether DIY consumers or trade, will simply go elsewhere or worse, put off the project.

Back in June, we were approached by Dale who were working on a semi-permanent solution for home improvement and trade outlets, called the DASH shelter, that required no planning permission and could be quickly and easily installed.

We felt this was a great idea and one of the most practical social distancing solutions that we’d seen, so we published a feature on Insight DIY, which you can read here - Supporting social distancing queues with Dash modular weather shelters

Our coverage of the Dash shelters clearly had an impact, as discussions started almost immediately between Dale and a number of the leading Home Improvement and Trade chains in the UK. These discussions have developed to the point, where store trials are due to start in the next few weeks and we’ll be posting images as soon as these trials go live.

Following discussions, Dale have improved the design further and the shelters, which are modular, can be installed at any length and have been specifically designed to protect customers in extended social-distanced queues from inclement weather. 

Unlike other temporary canopies we’ve seen, DASH shelters are constructed with a Zinc powder coated steel structure, concrete weights (which can be offered in colours to match the brand) and a durable plastic roof, built to withstand high winds. The shelters can be left in place for extended periods as if permanent, but without the need to seek planning permission.

We spoke to David Bricknell, MD of Dale Office Interiors who told us “Unfortunately, most temporary canopies are not robust enough to be left outside for any length of time, and permanent structures require planning permission and social distancing rules may change by the time they can be built. COVID-19 has rocked our economy, so we hope that, in a small way, DASH will support businesses and prevent customers turning away from stores when it’s raining and they see a long, unsheltered queue.” 

We also thought the idea of using the side of the shelters to advertise and promote the retailers or trade brands to passing trade was a great idea and something which added to what was already a great product.

To learn more about DASH Modular Weather Shelters, click here.

To download the latest Dash brochure, click here.

To speak to a member of the Dash team contact David Bricknell on david.bricknell@daleoffice.co.uk or telephone today on 0114 233 1115.

This is a sponsored article for Insight DIY on behalf of Dale Office Interiors, written by Steve Collinge.

27 August 2020

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