In Italy, traditional hardware stores are allowed to remain open, and that's what, indeed, a lot of them are doing, in the North of the country (where the emergency is really drastic) as well as in the South (where the situation is little better).
The problem is that some wholesalers are closing, so in the next few days a lot of smaller stores will close because they won't be able to restock their shelves, Marco Ugliano, managing editor of the trade magazine "Ferramenta & Casalinghi" expects.
In the home improvement sector, the situation remains more or less unchanged. The two foreign retail chains Obi (from Germany) and Adeo (from France) that operate the sales channels Leroy Merlin, Bricoman and Bricocenter closed their stores (as already reported by the Italian online service "10 minutes DIY and garden". Regarding the Italian DIY retail groups, some of them are still opening their stores, for example Brico Ok, FDT, Bricofer and others, whereas some others have closed their outlets, for example Eurobrico, Cfadda or Brico Io.
Garden centres that sell pet food have permission to be open, but they should only sell these products, so 90 per cent of them have since closed after all. The association of garden centres states that every owner can decide whether to open or to close, because the law is not particularly clear for the sector.
It is also not entirely clear whether the large supermarkets are allowed to sell plants and other garden products. "10 minutes DIY and garden" is also currently reporting on this.
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