B&Q has come first in a list of the top 20 DIY and hardware stores in Britain that has been compiled by The Telegraph. Companies range from country-wide chains to "independent gems".
"We are a nation of Do-It-Yourselfers - and that's official," The Telegraph's Graham Norwood said. "Six out of 10 adults claim to be good or very good at DIY but 12% of people admit to creating a DIY disaster costing hundreds of pounds to remedy, according to an Alliance & Leicester poll."
The article names the following as the UK's top 20 hardware stores:
"1. B&Q: 350 stores across the UK selling 40,000 products for in- and out-door DIY
2. The Range: 80 stores and expanding, selling basic DIY and craft materials
3. Maxwells: 10 north of England branches specialising in power tools
4. Hunts of Marlow: Family-run business near the high street, offering key-cutting too
5. Pickles: Home and garden DIY stockists plus fuel supplies from coal to sticks, in rural Devon
6. Firn's: Long-standing Cumbrian family hardware and ironmonger with gift-wrapping service available
7. Evans of Saltash: Leading Cornwall hardware shop with extensive household section too
8. ScrewFix: 255 stores selling 11,000 items and with a Click & Collect service
9. Crocket The Ironmonger: From Black & Deckers to Barbours, this Glasgow DIY heaven has an equestrian section too
10. Toolstation: Over 50 stores from Inverness to Truro selling tools (of course), workwear and landscaping kit
11. Langbridge Home Hardware: Bath's best, say customers - the website has a blog giving DIY and baking hints
12. Homebase: 340 stores across the UK, mostly out-of-town with easy parking
13. Worleys: Pet supplies as well as DIY, specialising in electrical equipment, plus a gift section. Cardiff-based
14. Potters: Based in Hockley, Essex, with large garden, decorating, tools and plumbing sections as well as kitchen and cooking
15. Partridges: On Ipswich high street the shop has everything from home fencing to wheels and castors
16. Lindleys: Family-run business in Castleford with extensive supplies and free local delivery
17. Wickes: 200 stores aimed mostly at the serious well-informed DIY enthusiast
18. Morrells: A DIY store just off London's Carnaby Street? Odd but true, with tools, decorating supplies and ironmongery
19. Ray Grahams: Based in Newtownards, N Ireland, offering everything from duvets to downpipes
20. Scats: Stores across south Wales and southern England, specialising in agricultural DIY - everything for those working on smallholdings and equestrian properties"
Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment and let us know.
Incidentally, some of the numbers in Mr Norwood's article were incorrect. B&Q has 359 stores in the UK, The Range has 85 stores, Maxwells DIY operates 11 stores, Screwfix 303 stores and Homebase has 336 UK stores.
Last month, B&Q’s website diy.com came in second-to-last place in a survey of the UK’s best and worst online retailers
; it was named as one of the “decliners”.