AS hardware and DIY stores remain closed due to the ongoing pandemic, many firms are still delivering to customers who order online.

They have been classed as essential retailers, meaning they can keep the businesses going and continue to trade, but without putting staff or customers at risk.

While its stores are closed, B&Q is offering a contact free click-and-collect service and similar service at some stores for trade only. Its aim is to help small firms providing essential plumbing, heating and repair services get the parts they need. Both the Chippenham and Swindon stores are open for this.

A B&Q spokesman said: “This service provides an extended range of products so that the trade can provide emergency repairs for their customers.While our stores remain closed, customers can pick up their orders using our new contact-free service in their local store car park.”

The hardware suppliers have put in a number of systems for home delivery to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

A Homebase spokesman said: “Our home delivery service has been adapted to keep our teams safe during this time.

“As a rule, all items will be delivered in line with social distancing guidelines, following a contact-free process.

“Larger items will either be delivered to the first accessible room in your home, or to an agreed contact-free drop off point.”

Meanwhile, Travis Perkins, and its associated businesses such as Benchmarx, Toolstation, Wickes and Tile Giant have donated 640 pairs of protective eyewear to the South West NHS.

A spokesman said:

“At this time we are operating a reduced branch network during the Covid-19 emergency in line with the latest government guidance so we can ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people and still provide essential materials and equipment needed to keep the UK’sinfrastructure and housing maintained, secure and operational.”