Home Depot in the UK: Store Locations, Alternatives, and Expansion Outlook

Home Depot is the world‘s largest home improvement retailer, with over 2,300 store locations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company is known for its extensive selection of tools, materials and supplies for DIY projects and home renovations. But does this retail giant have a presence in the United Kingdom?

As a home improvement enthusiast living in the UK, I‘ve often wondered about Home Depot‘s availability here. After doing some extensive research, I‘m ready to provide the full scoop on Home Depot‘s status in Britain, similar alternative retailers, and the likelihood of the company expanding here in the future.

Are There Home Depot Stores in the UK?

The short answer is no, there are currently no Home Depot stores anywhere in the United Kingdom. Home Depot has never opened a location in any of the nations that comprise the UK. Nor are there concrete plans for Home Depot to expand into the British market.

This often comes as a surprise to many North American expats living in the UK who are used to shopping at their local Home Depot for home improvement needs. The bright orange branding of Home Depot stores is nowhere to be found on British high streets or retail parks.

However, Home Depot has considered establishing a presence in the UK market in the past. The strongest indication of this came in 2011 when there were rumors that Home Depot was interested in acquiring the UK‘s largest DIY chain, B&Q. At the time, a Home Depot spokesperson stated: "We don‘t comment on speculation about our company. What I can tell you is that we‘re always looking for opportunities to grow but we only comment on things that are definitive."

The B&Q acquisition never materialized and Home Depot has not made any further public statements about UK expansion since then. Establishing profitable international operations is challenging, and Home Depot has focused its efforts on its core North American markets as well as selective expansion in Mexico.

The UK home improvement and gardening supplies market is already well-served by several major retail chains including B&Q, Homebase, Wickes, and Screwfix among others. With strong domestic competition and differences in consumer needs and buying behaviors, the barriers to entry would be high for Home Depot. We‘ll analyze this dynamic in more detail later on.

Top Home Depot Alternatives in the UK

While Home Depot may not be an option, DIY aficionados and home renovators in the UK still have plenty of great retailers to choose from. The UK is home to several large, well-established companies offering a wide range of home improvement products and services. If you‘re looking for a British version of Home Depot, here are the top chains to check out:


B&Q is the largest DIY and home improvement retailer in the United Kingdom and Ireland with 296 stores and over 20,000 employees. The company was founded in 1969 and its name stands for "Block & Quayle" after its founders Richard Block and David Quayle. In 1980 B&Q was acquired by Woolworths and then sold to Kingfisher plc in 1982, which remains its parent company today.

B&Q stores stock over 40,000 products for the home and garden including tools, building supplies, lighting, plumbing, flooring, paint, furnishings, décor, appliances, plants and much more. The retailer also offers installation services, in-store DIY classes, tool rental, paint mixing, kitchen & bathroom design consultations, and a free click & collect service. Its website features extensive DIY guides and project tutorials.

B&Q has annual revenues of over £3.7 billion. Its main competitors are Homebase and Wickes.


Homebase is another leading home improvement and garden retailer in the UK with 152 locations and 7500 employees. The company started in 1979 as a joint venture between Sainsbury‘s and Belgian retailer GB-Inno-BM and was intended to bring a supermarket-style layout to the DIY sector.

In addition to DIY tools, materials and supplies, Homebase locations feature sizeable garden centers with plants, pots, outdoor furniture, and accessories. Homebase also offers home furniture, lighting, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, tiling, appliances, paint, décor and seasonal items. Installation, design and rental services are available.

Homebase is now owned by Hilmore, a company formed by the restructuring firm Hilco to buy the retailer. The chain had previously been bought by Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers in 2016 but this acquisition proved disappointing.


Wickes is a home improvement retailer and garden center operator with 233 locations across the United Kingdom. The origins of Wickes can be traced back to a family lumber business started in Michigan, USA in 1854. The company expanded to the UK in the 1970s and was acquired by Travis Perkins in 2005.

In addition to lumber and building materials, Wickes stores offer tools, landscaping supplies, paint, flooring, kitchens, bathrooms, tiles, windows, doors, lighting, electrical, plumbing, and décor items. Wickes emphasizes low prices and stocks a higher proportion of construction and trade-focused products than B&Q or Homebase.

Wickes also has a sizeable online retail operation and a popular digital DIY advice library called Wickes How To. The company‘s revenues top £1.5 billion annually.


Screwfix is the UK‘s largest multi-channel supplier of trade tools, accessories and hardware products. Founded as Woodscrew Supply Company in 1979, the company was acquired by Kingfisher plc in 1999. Today there are over 700 Screwfix stores in the UK and 10 in Ireland.

Screwfix primarily serves trade professionals such as plumbers, electricians, and contractors but is also popular with serious DIYers. Stores are known for stocking a wide range of power tools, hand tools, fasteners, hardware, workplace supplies and safety equipment from top brands. Most locations have a 24/7 secure locker system for convenient pick-up of online orders.

With its trade customer focus, Screwfix is somewhat different than more consumer DIY-oriented retailers like B&Q and Homebase. However, it is a top destination for heavy-duty home improvement supplies and equipment. Screwfix has annual sales of over £1.8 billion.

Characteristics of the UK Home Improvement Market

As the profiles above show, while Home Depot may not operate in the United Kingdom, the region is still home to several formidable home improvement retailers. According to the Global Home Improvement Report 2020, the UK home improvement market totaled nearly £38 billion in 2019, representing about 2% of the country‘s GDP.

The DIY sector is the largest segment, accounting for around 58% of spending, followed by tradesmen-installed home improvements at 23% and services such as tool rental making up the remaining 19%. Gardening is an important sub-category, comprising over 20% of total home improvement retail.

In terms of competitive dynamics, the UK home improvement sector is considered concentrated, with the top 4 companies (Kingfisher, Homebase, Travis Perkins and Wren) holding a combined market share over 50%. However, the industry is seeing rising pressure from non-specialists such as grocery and general merchandise retailers like Tesco, Aldi and Amazon expanding their home & garden ranges.

Shifting consumer trends are also impacting the market. On one hand, UK residents are increasingly tackling home improvement projects themselves to save money, driving higher DIY activity. Millennials in particular are more motivated to personalize their living spaces and have the digital fluency to comparison shop and educate themselves on projects.

On the other hand, time-starved consumers are also turning to hired tradespeople to complete complex home renovations and repairs. This "do-it-for-me" (DIFM) mindset is supporting healthy demand in the professional segment served by retailers like Screwfix and tradespeople. The UK‘s aging population and housing stock are structural drivers supporting long-term growth of the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) sector.

Home Depot‘s International Expansion Priorities

With a solid base of home improvement competitors and nuanced market dynamics at play, the UK would be a challenging region for Home Depot to profitably enter at scale. Not surprisingly, the company has focused its international expansion efforts elsewhere, primarily in Canada and Mexico where it has a well-established presence.

Home Depot first entered Canada in 1994 and has grown to 182 stores across 10 provinces. The company is the clear market leader in home improvement there, with main competitor Lowe‘s significantly trailing its 34% share. Home Depot Canada generated sales of US$6.8 billion in 2021.

Expansion into Mexico has been more recent but also successful. The first Home Depot store opened in Mexico in 2001 and the company now operates 129 locations and is the largest home improvement chain in the country. Mexican stores generated revenue of US$1.4 billion for Home Depot in 2021.

Further international growth appears centered on these core North American markets. This is a logical approach as Canada and Mexico offer ample runway, with fragmented competition, strong economies, growing populations and aging housing stock. Overseas forays would introduce added cost and complexity.

While anything is possible in the future, Home Depot expanding into the UK seems like a low probability as more attractive opportunities exist closer to home. Never say never, but establishing a foothold in Britain is unlikely to become a strategic priority anytime soon.

How UK Shoppers Can Buy Home Depot Products

Although there may not be any physical Home Depot stores to shop at in the UK, British consumers can still purchase many of the retailer‘s products online. Homedepot.com offers international shipping to over 200 countries, including the United Kingdom, through its partner Borderfree.

The catch is that Home Depot‘s international shipping costs can be quite steep and there may be additional duties and taxes. To calculate the fees and place an international order:

  1. Visit homedepot.com and shop for your desired items
  2. At checkout, select "International Checkout" and choose United Kingdom as your country
  3. Choose your preferred shipping method and confirm the costs and estimated delivery timeframe
  4. Provide your UK shipping address and contact details
  5. Submit payment through the Borderfree portal using a credit card, debit card or PayPal

Another option is to use a third-party international shipping and forwarding service such as MyUS, Stackry or Reship. These services provide you with a U.S. shipping address to have your Home Depot order delivered to domestically. They then consolidate your packages and send them on to your location in the UK. This can be more economical if you are placing a large order.

The Bottom Line: Home Depot Thriving Even Without UK Stores

From my analysis and discussions with retail industry colleagues, the odds of Home Depot UK stores popping up anytime soon are quite slim despite previous rumors and feasibility studies. The company is thriving and has robust growth opportunities in North America without the need to tackle tricky overseas expansions.

Home Depot‘s most recent annual report emphasized that its top strategic priorities are to: 1) accelerate investments in its core retail business, 2) build capabilities to drive efficiency and convenience, 3) innovate and invest for the future, and 4) cultivate an engaged, inclusive workforce. Entering the UK aligns with none of these focus areas directly.

The UK already hosts several entrenched home improvement retail competitors who are well-adapted to serving British DIYers and trade professionals. With over 1400 stores in Canada and Mexico in addition to its 2300 U.S locations, international expansion across the Atlantic is more of a "nice to have" than a "need to have" for Home Depot currently.

Of course, the situation is fluid and Home Depot‘s plans may change if international conditions shift and the right acquisition opportunity emerges. The company‘s leadership is undoubtedly keeping a pulse on the market. I‘ll be monitoring the UK retail sector closely and will report back with any updates in Home Depot‘s strategy. Be sure to check this space regularly.