DIY stores, garden centers jammed at Easter weekend start
Now that an extra long weekend has started, furniture stores, garden centers and hardware stores are preparing for busy days. Extra staff is sometimes scheduled for this, to manage the crowds in the parking lot among other things. Nevertheless, according to some shopkeepers, the sunny weather could ensure that extreme crowds do not occur.
Intratuin garden centers are busier than on other weekends, said a spokesperson. This has not yet resulted in extreme situations, partly thanks to the extra deployment of staff. "Around holidays such as Easter we have extra people to ensure that people can park properly. And there is also maximum staff available in the store."
The Hornbach hardware store is also sending staff out "here and there" in parking lots. There are also more employees in the stores themselves. According to a spokesperson, that was also necessary, because many people came to get supplies for typical outdoor jobs, such as outdoor painting or gardening. Intergamma, the company behind the Gamma and Karwei chains, has announced that the entire spring is the peak season.
At IKEA branches, there are still not that many visitors apart from the more crowded location in Groningen. "Probably also has to do with the weather, so people are probably outside a lot," a spokesperson reasoned. Traditionally, it is always busy at home furnishings stores at Easter, although a visit to IKEA was hardly possible last year due to corona measures. "After two years of the pandemic, we are very much looking forward to being able to receive people again on Easter Monday."
Jolanda Verschoor, who runs a family business on the Woonboulevard Sliedrecht, also takes into account that a visit to the shop will have competition from a trip to the campsite or the terrace. Easter falls late in the year this time, which means that the temperatures are already a bit higher. Maarten Kop, center manager and chair of residential shopping center Woon Leiderdorp, said that after all the lockdowns last year, visitors and sales figures of home furnishings shops are going well anyway. "From January that is improving enormously."
In border regions, large shopping centers can also count on more German visitors. Since Friday, Roermond has been controlling the influx via the N280 by leaving the traffic lights at the A73 on red for longer, in order to prevent traffic jams in front of the popular Designer Outlet. A spokesperson for that outlet center indicates that it will be "very probably busy" on Saturday and no traffic jams have been reported.
Reporting by ANP