Advantages Excellent prices
Disadvantages Relatively limited range
What Wickes excels at is a good basic range of building and DIY products at excellent prices. Most of it is Wickes' own brand but that's not a problem. It's probably made by the same manufacturers as the known Brands anyway. Recent example; a Harrison Drape curtain track on sale for £32.99 in Homebase is boxed in Wickes' own brand packaging for £14.99. If Wickes can make a profit at £14.99 then how much are Homebase making?
Building materials, wood, fixings, electrical fittings etc are all almost always cheaper than the other sheds and their own brand tools are generally held in good regard. Outside of the main trade outlets like Travis Perkins, Wickes is the place most trade people get their stuff from.
The only real shortcoming I find is the relatively limited range Wickes have on offer. They have the most common building products and materials but not that much more.
B&Q Supercentres are generally the second best option in terms of cost, but they do have a much more extensive range than the other sheds. Standard B&Q shops are ok. The main problem B&Q have is with their re-stocking. If they're out of stock, come back in 3 months time and they might just have got some in.
As for Homebase; consistently at least 30% more expensive than anywhere else, they're really just a housewares shop with a few DIY bits thrown in. Even on their "10% off Fridays" they're still a rip-off.
And Wickes don't seem to subscribe to the "if there are less than 5 people in the queues, we need to close some tills" school of management". Maybe that's because Wickes don't seem to be as crowded as the other sheds. Maybe I shouldn't be writing this review.
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