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Founded Year

1972

About Wickes

Wickes is a company that focuses on the home improvement market, operating in the retail industry. The company offers a wide range of DIY products and services, providing tools, materials, and advice for both trade and DIY projects. It primarily serves the home improvement and construction sectors. It was founded in 1972 and is based in Hertfordshire, England.

Headquarters Location

Vision House 19 Colonial Way, Watford

Hertfordshire, England, WD24 4JL,

United Kingdom

+44 01923 656 600

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Latest Wickes News

Protest tank to be removed from Wickes because it's not taxed

Feb 6, 2024

Protest tank to be removed from Wickes because it's not taxed Paul Gibbons parked the tank at Wickes at Christmas in protest over the state of his kitchen 07:59, 6 FEB 2024 Sign up to our daily newsletter for the latest local and breaking news in Bristol. Invalid emailSomething went wrong, please try again later. More Newsletters We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and third parties based on our knowledge of you. More info Thank you for subscribing! Invalid emailSomething went wrong, please try again later. Sign Up × A man who parked his tank outside Wickes to protest over his "dangerous" kitchen job is staging a final stand - after being told it will be removed today. Paul Gibbons, 63, has made international news through his plight to challenge the home improvement retailer and garden centre after they charged him £25,000 to fit a new kitchen - which he claims was left "incomplete, dangerous and deadly". Paul, who puts shoes on horses, drove the military vehicle at 6am on 27 December to the store and has had it outside ever since. The tank is a 1965 decommissioned Abbot self-propelled gun which he borrowed from a friend who lends it to people wishing to protest against big companies. He has been there for all but one of the 41 days its been in situ - asking for a refund from Wickes for what he described as the “poor quality” £25,000 unfinished kitchen installation at his home last February. He says it has been overcome with "dangerous" issues including circulatory issues which are at risk of catching fire, mould under the sink, badly fitting units - with one heavy cupboard nearly collapsing on his dog. Paul Gibbons with the tank (and inset of the notice of removal) outside Basingstoke Wickes Paul, from Kingsclere, says he has to sleep downstairs due to the high risk of fire so he can escape without becoming trapped. A sign has since been posted on the vehicle warning that it will be removed ‘within 14 days’ of the date of the notice which is January 23. Paul says Wickes' note on the tank states the vehicle is 'not road taxed' and it has been 'abandoned there', so they will be removing it today at 11am. But Paul disputes this. Paul, a horse shoe fitter, said: "I'm tired, worn out, but my voice is almost coming back now - I am not crushed yet. The tank is firstly road-taxed - so their statement isn't true, and I have been with it 40 out of 41 days - that is not abandonment. "I was thinking of sleeping in it, but the tank owner says companies break and bend laws all the time; he thinks they might set it on fire and say it was vandals. This has mobilised people; this is a brilliant quiet, but very loud protest." Though initially Paul admits he felt alone and powerless in his plight, he claims there are thousands of people just like him - who are waiting on replies from Wickes over complaints. He said: "But this protest has taught me not only am I not by myself - but there are thousands fighting the same battle, I now realise that. Tank parked outside of Wickes "We have to see if we can get something done, because it's not fair that a company like this, even though it's not just this one, don't give you what you paid for and then they don't fix it. Why should they have the choice to not give me what I paid for because they can afford barristers and I can't - it's just so unjust and unfair. "We seem to have mobilised people from all over, I get calls all the time from people in similar situations as me. A lady down in Plymouth got in touch saying she's a lawyer and has had the same problems with Wickes - but because of her occupation she knew what to say and how to say it (the most important part) - but she is still off-the-scale annoyed. "There are at least three to four thousand people all complaining - I had people call me up from Spain saying they have been trying to hold Wickes accountable for two years - but they have not even received an answer back. Some people have been waiting two to three years, one fellow has been fighting for seven years. "I know the tank is having an effect - it has to because this cannot continue." After being visited by an independent electrical inspector, Paul said he was informed the very documents which state his house is safe, are "legally incorrect." He explained: "The legal document that states my house is safe - is incorrect. The man who signed he designed the circulatory, installed, inspected and tested it, has never been to my house. Tank parked outside of Wickes "Two different people worked on the electrics, one did the circuit board and the other did little bits of the kitchen, also the fitter, the bits he has done are 'dangerous to life'. There are live wires sticking out the wall, I can't reach installation switch (I am 6'3), there are potential fire risks. "The inspector's eyes went to the heavens! It's very dangerous what they have done - every part of this certificate was wrong, dangerous and life-threatening. "I can't put stuff away in cupboard, the larder cupboards fall out and almost killed my dog - they all need something doing to them before I can use them since June. When the Area Manager came round he said problem was with poor maintenance. "My kitchen isn't finished but they are saying as a consumer I have to finish it?" Paul explains he was offered £1,000 by Wickes to "get his kitchen fixed" - but he says this will barely cover the price of one switch. He said: "When I had an independent person come down, they said the only way he would think of tackling it would be to rip it out and start again. "That's someone who does it for a living - but they won't do the job, because if they try and make good of what's there, they become responsible for it. Wickes aren't stupid they do this as a way of dealing with customers. "They promised me a 'smooth and seamless fit' - but it's nearly 11 months done the line. I'm having to change whole lifestyle because I'm living a house that isn't safe even though its certified as being safe - that's criminal. "Wickes should have done due diligence to make sure people are up to the job. There are thousands of people that are trying to get what they paid for and they can't because Wickes basically say no and get away with it cuz they are big!" He argues his peaceful protest is a way to stick up to the big company - who are used to battling small individuals and winning. He said: "Normally it's a big company vs one person - they have got a team of barristers trying to shut me up. Tank parked outside of Wickes Paul says the Police told him this is a civil offence and "are not going to get involved". An acrostic sign for 'Wickes' placed on the vehicle read 'Warning Incompetent Complacent Kitchen Equipment Supplier.' The sign, from Wickes, states: “This vehicle / item as been notified to us as being abandoned and / or not having valid road tax and will be removed within 14 days of this notice being issued. "If this vehicle is not abandoned, please contact us on the below number immediately and / or arrange for it to be removed from site.” It warns that failure to remove the vehicle within 14 days will result in it being “sold or destroyed”. A spokesperson for Wickes previously said: "We arranged a full and independent inspection of Mr Gibbon’s kitchen by The Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman. "Their assessment was that 2-3 days remedial work would be required to bring the kitchen up to a satisfactory standard. Following the independent inspector’s guidance, we offered to pay for the cost of the remedial works, plus an additional sum as compensation. Both of which Mr Gibbons has rejected. "As the safety and wellbeing of our team members is our number one priority, and following incidents when Mr Gibbons has demonstrated unacceptable and aggressive behaviour towards members of our team, we reported these incidents to the police and took the decision to issue him with an exclusion notice preventing him from entering our premises. Unfortunately, Mr Gibbons has failed to comply with the exclusion notice. "As the tank remains on our premises we are operating within our legal rights to issue the owner with a TORT notice. This requires that it is removed from our premises within 14 days, and if it is not we will have it removed by a specialist company. "We would like to apologise to customers who have been inconvenienced or concerned by the tank in any way. Our offer remains open to Mr Gibbons if he wishes to complete the remedial works to his kitchen and receive the compensation". Story Saved You can find this story in   My Bookmarks. Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right. Follow BristolLive Most Recent Most Recent

Wickes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Wickes founded?

    Wickes was founded in 1972.

  • Where is Wickes's headquarters?

    Wickes's headquarters is located at Vision House, Hertfordshire.

  • Who are Wickes's competitors?

    Competitors of Wickes include Rothley and 7 more.

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