Hardware & Appliances
Hardware stores are often called ‘DIY shops’ in the UK. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is a big hobby in London so many shops cater for those into the activity. Small hardware shops are in pretty much every London neighborhood and good deals on everything from nails and paint to kettles can be found at many of these shops. Here are a couple of the larger chains that you will find around the capital:
If you say hardware and DIY to any Londoner, the response is without hesitation: Dyas, which was established in the late 19e century. There are plenty of stores dotted all around London and in addition to hardware, they also sell small electronics.
B&Q is a chain of huge DIY shops that prides itself on carrying more than 12,000 DIY products. Kitchen and bathroom appliances are also available, as are building materials. You can order online for next-day delivery or visit one of the shops. Some locations are Tottenham, Leyton, and Chingford. Check the site for a full list of shops around London. Prices are competitive.
Homebase carries lighting, flooring, tiling, decorating and gardening materials, to name just a few. Order online or visit a shop. Locations include Kensington, Battersea, Finchley Road, and Acton. Prices are competitive.
This catalog/online-only shop carries a massive selection of appliances including fridges and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, and office equipment. Argos is known for its low prices. Because there are no displays to view the products, prices are kept down. Obviously, it’s not always easy to purchase something you can’t physically see and touch but Argos is a bargain and an institution. You can order online but there is a fee for delivery. Many Londoners reserve their goods online to pick up in shop. Shops are in major neighborhoods. Try to get there weekdays, as queues can be heavy on weekends. The system of waiting, paying, getting a number, and picking up your stuff is an activity most Londoners will experience at some point at Argos.
Tottenham Court Road is the place to go for all your electronics needs. LCD televisions and laptop computers are a million a mile on this street and the shops are very competitive. All major brands from Samsung to Sony can be found here. Between Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street tubes you will find countless electronics shops. Bargaining and price comparison are encouraged.
One central London institution for electronics stands out:
Richer Sounds: http://www.richersounds.com
Get good bargains on DVD players and TVs. Locations are in Chelsea, Holborn, London Bridge, and Chiswick.
Your best bet for original gifts:
Aria http://www.ariashop.co.uk There are a few household items shops dotted around London which are ultimate trendy stores, this charming Islington store is one of them. Here you will find big names such as Alessi, Starck along with classics such as Gaggia.