Bunnings has launched a delivery service for essential winter items during the lockdown.

Customers can now have a range of heaters, insulation, sealants, pest control, fire-safety and whiteware goods delivered to their doorstep.

"It's our priority to support customers during this challenging time in a safe and practical manner," said Bunnings NZ director Jacqui Coombes.

"To ensure the wellbeing of our team, all Bunnings team members who are packing and distributing orders will be adhering to strict hygiene and safe distancing protocols."

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However, the service isn't quite as simple as clicking on an item and ordering direct through the website.

Customers will have to email Bunnings with their order and then wait for a store representative to call and confirm the purchase.

Delivery will carry a charge, dependent on the size of the item ordered.

Payment will be arranged via credit card or PowerPass account.

Thereafter, the product will be delivered within three to five working days.

This is the first time Bunnings has offered a delivery service in New Zealand, and the move has been made in direct response to Covid-19.

Until recently, hardware stores could only sell products to tradespeople working on essential construction projects.

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However, the Government announced after the start of the lockdown a list of essential items that stores could start to sell.

This has led to Mitre 10, The Warehouse, Kmart, Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, Rebel Sport and other retailers all selling goods online.

The catch is that the storefronts need to stay closed and the goods have to be delivered.

Retailers that had already established online ordering and delivery could then immediately start selling goods to consumers.

Bunnings has until now relied on instore sales for its products and has had to innovate to ensure it was able to sell products to consumers during the lockdown.

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While the system is not the most sophisticated online sales channel, it should at least result in the company keeping sales ticking over while the nation waits for the lockdown to end.

Rules for selling essential items online:

Businesses must:

• Only take orders online or by phone and keep storefronts shut.
• Take orders for only essential non-food goods.
• Home deliver all essential goods in a contactless way and not allow people to visit stores to select or collect goods.
• Take all appropriate public health measures to protect their staff and customers (e.g. physical distancing, hygiene basics, appropriate personal protective equipment).
• Notify MBIE that they meet these conditions and intend to offer essential goods for sale and provide a list of those products.