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Talk to B&Q about their products and your experiences in store – £150 giftcard to be won NOW CLOSED

(107 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Aug-13 14:01:07

As you may have seen recently, we're working with B&Q, who so far have helped lots of MNers revamp their unloved rooms and gardens. B&Q are very keen to get more of you trying out their products/services and going in-store to check out what they have to offer. You can also find loads of information and advice on revamping your rooms and gardens on the B&Q pages on MN.

- Have you visited a B&Q store recently? If so, which one did you visit and what did you think? If you haven't visited recently, what would convince you to go along?

- If you have been to a B&Q store recently, were the staff helpful? What did you think about the product range and presentation?

- What, if anything, do you think B&Q could do better to get more people in store?

- Have you or your DCs attended a You Can Do It workshop or Kids Can Do It class? If so, which one did you attend and what did you think of it?

- If you haven't been to a B&Q store recently, after looking at the B&Q pages on MN, which pieces of advice or info (if any) did you find the most useful? Has any of the info you've seen made you feel more confident about taking on a redecoration project of your own?

Everyone who posts a comment here will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 B&Q giftcard.

Please note that any comments you post here may appear on the B&Q pages on Mumsnet and potentially elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

newtothenet Tue 27-Aug-13 16:47:44

Ooh, B&Q (Grimsby) were very helpful to me recently. I asked for a melamine shelf to be cut to size, got it home and realised I'd asked for it to be cut 10cm too big. I took it back and the lovely man on the wood cutting service took another 10cm off it for me for free. I often find B&Q's prices to be higher than other retailers, but the customer service makes it worth shopping there.

I'd love to try the workshop classes, but it's not really feasible at the moment with having a young breastfeeding baby. Are there classes specifically for absolute beginners - they would be great!

kinkyfuckery Tue 27-Aug-13 19:58:29

I've visited our local B&Q (Arbroath) a fair bit recently, as I moved home 3 months ago.

The most recent time I visited with my two children (5 and 8) in tow. I was looking for a specific colour paint for my bathroom and a young male staff member was on hand to help us. He scoured the shelves with me to try to find it, then we finally checked the listings and found it would have to be mixed up! D'oh! My 8 year old daughter has ADHD and ASD and was thoroughly fascinated with how this was to be done. He was so patient and friendly with her and talked her through every step of the process, getting her input and letting her 'help'. She came away proud as punch that she was involved in what would have otherwise been a very boring shopping trip.

Puppypoppet Tue 27-Aug-13 20:46:48

Recently visited the York Hull Road store. It is pretty much the same as any other B & Q - fairly easy to find things and not too hard to find staff if you need help.

We found the staff really helpful. We needed some wood cut to size to replace broken lats under a bed. The gentlemen on the cutting section were very helpful and knowledgeable - providing advice and assistance.

Can't really think of anything B & Q can do to attract more customers - possibly a nicer cafe would make people stay longer.

- No we haven't attended a You Can Do It workshop or Kids Can Do It class - never heard of them tbh.

Crocklebog Tue 27-Aug-13 21:26:43

When I visited my local store (Norwich), I found the staff to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable. There was no hard sale.

I would be more inclined to visit if there was a nice café and more interior displays.

I have never heard of the workshop ir kids class before this thread!

We go to either Bradford thornbury or the big one in Leeds. The staff at the Leeds one are helpful and friendly, not keen on the Thornbury branch though. The ranges of products are good but I don't see myself buying curtains and cushions there. My husband takes our eldest son to the kids can do it classes every Sunday morning, they both really enjoy it and Hannah is such a good teacher. It's a shame that so many people book it don't show up. We have now just about completed our house, replastered it all new kitchen just fi iahed the new bathroom. Next on our list is to extend down and maybe up.

chickensaladagain Tue 27-Aug-13 22:33:13

I went to the Huddersfield store last week looking for a new kitchen for my mum -she's a bit immobile at the moment so I'm doing the leg work for her

3 staff in those little glass pods -1 on the phone, 2 deep in conversation

They looked busy so I had a wander round by myself, went back to the glass pods, still looked busy, hung around for 5 minutes+ still no one came to ask me if I needed any help

I hate asking in shops, especially when people look busy

So I walked out

dahville Wed 28-Aug-13 00:46:17

I have recently been to the Pentwyn B&Q - I went to check out garden storage solutions.

Generally I don't want help in a store so I am pleased that I don't get approached much in B&Q but on this occasion I did need help and there was nobody around.

I had no idea that B&Q held workshops, I think they could be advertised better at my local store.

AngryFeet Wed 28-Aug-13 01:00:10

We visited the Croydon Purley Way branch this weekend to buy supplies as we were decorating our lounge. It is a big store so has a great selection. We bought paint and decorating equipment plus some new powertools for DH. The staff we spoke to were friendly and helpful, the only downside was the lack of a customer toilet. I cant think of anything else B&Q could do to attract more customers - the store I went to had everything I could ever need for DIY and it is the first place I will think of when I need decorating supplies.

I have never heard of the workshops but will look them
up now.

ouryve Wed 28-Aug-13 08:30:06

- Have you visited a B&Q store recently? If so, which one did you visit and what did you think? If you haven't visited recently, what would convince you to go along?

We visit the Durham store a couple of times a month. We live fairly close to it, so it's convenient. It's massive and has a good range of stock. It's a lot better laid out than our nearest homebase stores and much better for wheelchair/buggy access etc.

- If you have been to a B&Q store recently, were the staff helpful? What did you think about the product range and presentation?

There's a good range of stock, but it can be a bit hard to find stuff and some of the larger items are in poor condition. When we were looking for new internal doors, last year, we were frustrated at the poor choice of doors in solid wood (awkward shaped doors frames, so needed plenty of scope for alteration) and when we settled on a style, had to rummage through them to find ones which weren't too badly damaged. We settled for one with a slight chip out of a top corner and one with a slight flaw in the glass.

We needed to replace our front gate, this year and they only had one of the one we liked and it was badly made and a bit had fallen off it. We ended up scouring ebay and sourced a much better quality one, in the same style, from a local joiner, cheaper.

We did have a problem when we went in the evening, once, and it was busy and there were no manned tills open because of lack of staff. The guy who helped us all through the self service checkouts was very helpful, if a little hassled, though!

- What, if anything, do you think B&Q could do better to get more people in store?

Keep them tidy.

- Have you or your DCs attended a You Can Do It workshop or Kids Can Do It class? If so, which one did you attend and what did you think of it?

DH attended a plastering class a few months ago and, since he discovered that he can do it for free with his clubcard, he has taken DS1 along to several of the kids' you can do it classes. There's 3 instructors - 2 are great, but one of them is a bit disorganised in comparison, which is a problem when the classes are fully booked. DS1 has been enjoying learning to use a hammer and a drill and has made some nice things that he's proud of.

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 28-Aug-13 08:42:41

Whenever I go to either of my nearest B&Qs (Burton or Derby) there are no staff at the tills and the staff I can see in the store are "busy".

I would go more often if you employed staff to help customers and serve on the tills.

The You Can Do It courses aren't run in my local stores (or weren't last time I checked). DD attempted to join in a kids' planting thing last year but was shooed away as she was too young.

The thing I dislike most about B&Q is the self-service tills. The voice on them is shrieky and insistent, and I hate using them. As the tills are never manned I have no choice. It makes me dread shopping at B&Q.

The best thing about B&Q is the layout - very easy to get around, and doesn't seem like a jumble sale (unlike Homebase).

Spirael Wed 28-Aug-13 09:23:57

- Have you visited a B&Q store recently? If so, which one did you visit and what did you think? If you haven't visited recently, what would convince you to go along?

Like justshootmenow I visit either the Bradford Thornbury store or the big store in Leeds.

Bradford Thornbury seems a bit tired and neglected. The parent and child parking outside is never available as it either has trolleys piled on it or rude 'white van men' take the spot. I've reported this to the staff, but they never care.

The Leeds store is better, but it's huge and I always get hopelessly lost. A layout map near the entrance or better signs would help. Some of the aisles are very narrow, making it difficult for two trolleys to pass one another. I still haven't found if there's a lift to get to the upstairs section with a trolley, so I've never ventured up there!

- If you have been to a B&Q store recently, were the staff helpful? What did you think about the product range and presentation?

Bradford is a bit hit and miss. I've had excellent help from very knowledgable members of staff on occasion. But quite often it's hard to find a staff member, at which point they look at you blankly and go to find someone else. By the time they've found them and the answer, I've generally solved the query by myself or gotten fed up and moved on! (Maybe that's part of their plan?)

A plus for Bradford is that it's nicely laid out and easy to find what you need. You can walk along the central aisle and clearly see signs on both sides to highlight the area you're looking for, with products set out sensibly. Product selection is good, I can usually find what I'm looking for.

Leeds seems to be flooded with friendly staff. There is always someone waiting by the entrance with a smile and there are lots of staff hovering around the self service area for when the machines inevitably misweigh or don't have your item on the system.

Once you find the section you're looking for, the products are laid out well and there's a good selection - though I often find they've sold out of the item I want.

- What, if anything, do you think B&Q could do better to get more people in store?

Could do with some better facilities for families. I have no idea whether they have toilets available or not - if there are then they're not well sign posted! Getting a trolley is pot luck and there's usually only one type with one toddler seat, nothing for babies.

To be honest, running a creche section like they do in Ikea would be fantastic, as it's hard to make DIY decisions and lift heavy things into trolleys with a small child hanging on your arm, declaring they're bored, pulling things off shelves and touching every dangerous thing they can find.

Alternatively, maybe there could even be something available at the entrance to entertain kids, like a leaflet designed for them with a puzzle to do, or a map on which they have to mark where the mascot is hiding this week? A small prize could be then given by the exit for the right answer, or a box to put their entry from which a winner is chosen once a week.

Or, smaller pull along trolleys that they can use which are not going to attack other peoples ankles quite so badly. Then, special displays around the store of "Secret Tokens" in different colours at child height. The kids have to find them and put one of the tokens in their special basket while the parents do the real shopping. When they get to the exit, the tokens are collected in and the kids get kudos/a prize.

- Have you or your DCs attended a You Can Do It workshop or Kids Can Do It class? If so, which one did you attend and what did you think of it?

No, there are no adult classes available at Bradford or Leeds (why?!), and DD is too young for the Kids Can Do It classes at Leeds.

LtGreggs Wed 28-Aug-13 09:34:56

- Have you visited a B&Q store recently? If so, which one did you visit and what did you think?

Have been to Stirling B&Q within the last month. Fine - same as ever. I usually choose B&Q over the nearby Homebase and Wickes as seems to have wider selection.

I like that they have customer toilets - have saved us on several trips with young DC in tow.

DC love the pull-along baskets.

- If you have been to a B&Q store recently, were the staff helpful? What did you think about the product range and presentation?

Staff sparse but helpful. Not product experts. Gardening range mediocre. We were looking for hosepipe fittings and got the impression of lots of stock but could not find what we actually wanted. Lots of odd looking boxes of odds & ends apparently for sale on top shelves (like a plastic box marked 'hose parts' just full of junk). Looks like someone's back shed!

Don't really like all the cheap-buys near the tills - just a load of tat.

No-one ever available for cutting wood to size, and they won't cut narrow wood (like 2"x4" or skirting board type stuff) - this would be super-helpful.

Realise this is all negative comments, but overall I like that you can usually use them as a one-stop-shop and can find something to cover most jobs.

- Have you or your DCs attended a You Can Do It workshop or Kids Can Do It class? If so, which one did you attend and what did you think of it?

No - never heard of them.

thesoupdragon44 Wed 28-Aug-13 16:35:57

we have a local B&Q and it has changed a lot with a big refit recently it is much easier to find what I want and to get ideas on how I can revamp my room. I have bought the wall paper now I just need to get pasting!

WildThongsHeartString Wed 28-Aug-13 16:44:27

We ordered a gas BBQ online, but delivery was too long. I called customer services who located the same one in the Bishopbriggs store and had it put aside for us. When we went to collect it there was some confusion over payment as we had already paid online but the store couldn't accept that as DIY.com are different from B&Q . Basically the customer service lady had given us wrong information, but the store manager was really helpful, helping us to cancel the original payment and then pay again. Took ages though but got sorted eventually. We use B&Q all the time and will continue to, not the classes or anything, but gret range of paints and garden stuff.

CheeryCherry Wed 28-Aug-13 16:51:47

Yes been to the huddersfield and halifax stores over the summer as we've been doing a lot of decorating, so needed to buy a lot of paint. Wish the matchpots were cheaper, I've stopped buying them and just take a gamble on colour choices.
I like B&Q, it makes me feel independent and organised when I purchase from there. The stores are always clean, tidy and staff have always been helpful.
I guess more offers would help attract more customers, more flyers or weekend sales.
Have not heard of the classes, but would be interested in adult DIY skills sessions.

LadyMilfordHaven Wed 28-Aug-13 16:53:59

i went in for the first time in a year today
queues huge and three staff standing in an aisle watching the q.

i went to ask for something. Hand wafted to aisle 28

counldnt find aisle 28, asked the kitchen woman - she pointed to it.
NO ONE offered to get me the product.

got there and coudnt see it, eventually found ONE right at the back that no one had pulled to the front

fucking nora - how shit is that?

LadyMilfordHaven Wed 28-Aug-13 16:55:56

also years ago some paving slabs fell on s1 that the manager at the scene admitted had been stacked wrongly.
he was knocked over and was severely bruised.

Your legal team did their best to minimise your culpability at the time and in the end only with a lawyers threat of being sued did you ever offer any settlement, this was a child of about one year old.

how shit was that?

Rooners Wed 28-Aug-13 17:22:11

Ok. I'm a pretty experienced DIYer and have tiled various walls including an entire bathroom (about 10 corners in it too) by myself.

I've also laid floors (screed/tiled/slate), built wooden worktops, fitted electrical sockets, taps, sinks, panes of glass and so on. I've also handbuilt a huge chicken run, alone, and put up a lot of fences and gates. So I do like a bit of DIY.

Unfortunately I don't really like B&Q.

The reasons are several.

One: there appears to be difficulty in communications between various people and departments.

Lots of knowledgeable folk work there but most of the time you end up standing round waiting for ages before anyone comes along, let alone the right person. They will sometimes recommend a certain person but that person isn't always there - one time we were asked to come back for advice the next day as no one could help.

This is a superstore. I think the hugeness makes it worse if anything. If you're waiting for a missing barcode for example at the till, you're there about 20 minutes hoping the person isn't actually lost.

Secondly stock. The website is nothing to do with the stores is it - be honest! Everything listed as 'in stock' online, in your local store, is missing when you get there or no one knows where it is. So you don't bother ordering or reserving stuff. The reserve page doesn't seem to work anyway last time I tried it.

Thirdly, there's a lot of discontinued, or opened, or damaged stock in various places including the clearance shelves but most of it is unpriced - so you stock up on loads of small handles or tiles or whatever, get to the checkout and find it's still £8 a tile or whatever it was before, and no one will mark it down. So you leave it all instead of giving it a home. This frustrates me a lot as I love to get stuff on clearance and make use of it.

Fourth - the constant announcements that seem to be triggered by us walking through the door, about keeping your children under control as they may be at any time run over by a fork lift truck. And here you are on MN trying to get us into your shops. THINK about that one smile

There should be a play area in the bigger shops. There really should.

Gawd knows there is space for one.

Lastly there is a very strange man at our B&Q and every time I go in there he expects a conversation, which I don't always have time for. However he does mark stuff down. Then I wonder if he is risking his job and feel guilty.

Lastly (again) the vending machines don't ever work.

I thank you.

Rooners Wed 28-Aug-13 17:27:50

Oh also delivery from store or elsewhere.

I wanted a shed last month. Could they deliver it (about a mile and a half)? Yes but it will take a few weeks and cost you £20. hmm

Ok I'll order it online - presume that will be free delivery?

oh no I think it's the same charge if you order it online.

Oh.

(go home and check...delivery from online shed dept is indeed free)

(order shed. Get a letter in the post the next day saying thankyou, we will call to arrange delivery. No one calls. This was a fortnight ago)

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 28-Aug-13 18:03:26

I popped into B&Q on the weekend. The staff were helpful and there was a good range.

I only wanted a tin of paint and was hoping for a deal. Most paints were on 3 for 2 but I would have preferred a discount on one.

I can usually find what I want and a few extra bits for the house/garden easily enough but get bored within half an hour (DIY is not my thing) but DH can wander the aisles for hours.

B & Q is a bit specialist so I don't know how they could get more people in. Maybe holding workshops/demonstrations? Homebase seem to have more offers and is generally laid out more attractively, so maybe that's the way to go.

Elainey1609 Wed 28-Aug-13 18:43:07

Went to sidcup/orpington b and q recently to browse
When actually speaking to staff they are helpful and know what they are talking about but again very sparse
However when going to pay for something the ques are really long with only 1 or 2 tills open and staff just standing around watching.

Stock is very often stacked not very safely, saw things falling over a number of times

Your on line stuff ...delivery just takes to long im afraid

Most of time now always go to homebase or wicks and some times even poundland as you seem to be too expensive compared to other stores

Letitsnow9 Wed 28-Aug-13 21:36:59

Our family have been to quite a few in Surrey lately and found them very hit and miss. Some great advice and good products, another when they tried to refuse to take back a completely broken and dirty lamp as we didn't see it was broken before taking it out of the box. That's because you couldn't see it! Staff couldn't understand why we had taken it out to see that it was broken, we also felt a relative was taken advantage of when buying a bathroom after admitting she didn't know what she needed

jaamy Wed 28-Aug-13 23:09:33

DH is a big fan of B&Q. I am not, not because I don't like B&Q but because I am not a fan of wandering around for an hour pretending to know what I am looking for and then asking a member of staff anyway!
We often visit St Helen's, Warrington and DH has visited Widnes store which he says is smaller than the others so not as good!
Funnily enough our DDs love B&Q. Think it is the space and very often there is some kind of activity - colouring in or biscuit icing - that can occupy them. Problem is, the activity is always at the other end of the store from where we need to be and I end up chaperoning kids while DH wanders off to enjoy the hardware!! A treasure trail type activity would be much better as we often end up covering the whole store searching for items.
The staff in both St Helen's and Warrington have proven to be helpful whenever they have been found.

jaamy Wed 28-Aug-13 23:14:50

IME, the B&Q stores are much better organised than Homebase. Might just be in our area (Northwest) but I found the staff at the Runcorn and Aintree Homebase are slow, lack knowledge and, sorry to say, rude!

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