How to find the quietest time to shop at B&Q, B&M, and Home Bargains during lockdown

SHOPPERS who want to avoid the crowds when visiting B&Q, B&M and Home Bargains should follow these tips when planning their next outing.

All three retailers have remained open in some capacity during the coronavirus shutdown.

B&M and Home Bargains stores stayed open as they were classed as “essential” shops, due to selling food and medicines.

B&Q remained open for online orders only to begin with, but the DIY chain has now reopened all 288 branches.

All retailers have introduced strict social distancing measures in stores, plus they’re limiting the number of customers allowed inside at one time.

But how can you tell when the quietest times to shop are?

How busy each store will be depends on the day of the week, and also the time you choose to visit.

There is no definite way of knowing how packed your local branch will be, but you can use Google’s “popular times” feature to get a good idea.

"Popular times" is broken down hour-by-hour for every day of the week.

To use the tool, start off by Googling the specific shop you want to visit in the "maps" section of the search engine.

Scroll down past the opening hours and you'll see the "popular times" graph, which is made up of blue bars.

The higher the blue bar, the more customers are usually shopping in your local Tesco at that time.

It'll also show a pink bar to represent how many customers Google believes to be in the store right now.

When is the quietest time to visit B&Q?

Google's "popular times" tool showed the best time to visit B&Q if you want to avoid crowds is when stores open.

The majority of B&Q shops open 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

The Sun checked using one London store, so the busy time of your local may differ.

For the branch we looked at, the store continued to get busier as the morning went on.

Crowds are expected to ease as the store approaches closing time.

One tweet from a B&Q shopper shows a long line of people queuing in the car park of a store shortly after 2pm.

They said: "It's a loooong queue to get into B&Q. Need a few essential items."

We've asked B&Q for its typical busy times but we've yet to get a response.

Shoppers were seen queuing for up to an hour to get into stores shortly after they fully reopened.

Use the B&Q store finder tool to see where your nearest shop is.

When is the quietest time to visit B&M?

B&M told The Sun the quietest time to visit stores is generally first thing in the morning.

This was accurate when we checked how busy one shop in London is today.

It showed the best time to visit was when the store opened just after 9am.

This particular branch continued to get busier as the day goes on, with a dip in people expected this evening.

B&M stores are typically open 9am until8pm, Monday to Friday, and 11am until 5pm on Sundays.

Similarly to B&Q, tweets from shoppers show how queues can snake round the car parks of B&M stores in the afternoon.

One person tweeted: "Queue for B&M. I only needed a few tins of beans."

This example of a busy B&M store was taken at 1.38pm – but again, how busy a store is will still vary between branches.

B&M has around 600 shops in the UK – use the online store finder tool to track down your nearest one.

When is the quietest time to visit Home Bargains?

When stores open also appears to be the best time to visit your nearest Home Bargains.

When The Sun checked one London store today, it showed the shop was quietest shortly after opening at 8am.

Like B&Q and B&M, the store has seen an increase in customers throughout the day – although it is less busy than usual right now.

A dip in crowds is expected shortly before this store closes.

Home Bargains are generally open 8am until 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 11am until 5pm on Sundays.

This tweet shows how a queue of shoppers has formed outside one Home Bargains shop at 4.37pm.

We've asked Home Bargains for its typical busy times and we'll update this article when we hear back.

Home Bargains has 500 shops in the UK – check the store finder tool to locate your closed branch.

The Sun has rounded up the quietest time to hit the supermarkets during the coronavirus crisis.

Aldi has released a new traffic light system which shows when the best time to visit stores is.

Brits have been seen flocking to garden centres and golf courses after lockdown tweaks kicked in this week.

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