Handyman rage leaves empty shelves: often no brush to get.

Although hardware stores are doing what they can to replenish stocks, our massive anger is causing shortages at many stores. Especially in the paint department there is a storm. There is often no longer a brush or paint roller available there. “We now have to be creative in our purchasing.”m.


We are doing some work on this crisis. Since March 12, staying at home has been the motto to prevent further spread of the corona virus. Since then, hardware stores and DIY stores have been eminently well attended.

A huge peak was already visible in March. In the third week of March, DIY stores together generated more than 50 percent more turnover compared to a year earlier. Turnover was up about a quarter in March as a whole – the largest increase since 2005 – with which the quarterly turnover of the DIY sector also rose by 13.6 percent , CBS reported.

Shortages are on

Hardware stores are still seeing an increase in the number of sales and visits. The demand for certain products is so great that many branches are now struggling with shortages, according to a tour of RTL Z in the traditionally busy week of Ascension Day.

This mainly concerns products that are already doing well during this period: garden items, wood and building materials and paint products such as brushes, rollers, paint trays and sandpaper.

“The turnover of these products is high,” says spokesman Desiree Schelle of Intergamma, the parent company of the 350 Dutch DIY stores of Gamma and Karwei. “Painting remains the most accessible job and people in these times look a little more at their homes. But no one could have foreseen that the demand would increase in this way.”

From shipping to aviation

Where many construction market companies continue to ship these items from Asia in particular, they now opt for air freight. This is partly due to the enormous demand and partly because factories in China and Southern Europe, among others, have been shut down for weeks.

By flying in products, Intergamma says it will save six weeks. Schelle: “Usually a lot goes by sea, with long delivery times. We now have to be creative in our purchasing.”

Do-it-yourself chain Praxis, where stocks of paint-related products in particular are shrinking, opts for the same method. “We are constantly looking for alternatives in the market. We have flown in extra stock from China and now the paint accessories factories in Southern Europe are back on track,” the company said.

Praxis, which like other market players suffered from transport problems due to the closure of borders, wants to restore the stocks in its 193 stores as quickly as possible.


Felix Dijkmans


Felix Dijkmans

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