Australian group Wesfarmers opened its third Bunnings Warehouse store in the UK and Ireland on Friday, converting the former Homebase site at Apsley Mills Retail Park
The Hemel Hempstead store occupies over 64,000sq ft and stocks more than 27,000 home improvement and garden lines, including paint-mixing services from Johnstone’s Trade, Crown and Dulux and a new tool shop offering leading brands, such as Ryobi and DeWalt.
It also boasts a café, indoor children’s play area, timber cutting, colour wall and engraving and key cutting services, and trades seven days a week, staying open until 9pm Monday to Friday. The store has created 53 new part-time and full-time roles and employs 111 people in total.
The new site continues the momentum of establishing the Bunnings Warehouse format in the UK’s £38billion-a-year home improvement and garden market.
Part of Australia’s Wesfarmers Group, Bunnings plans to invest up to £500million rolling out its Warehouse stores across the UK and Ireland over the next three to five years. According to a recent investor briefing, the plan is that there will be 10 Warehouses trading by the end of this year.
To celebrate the opening, Olympic gymnast champion and Hemel local Max Whitlock MBE hosted a welcome breakfast for team members.
Mr Whitlock said: “It’s great that Bunnings has chosen Hemel Hempstead as the location for its third store in the UK. Hemel is where it all began for me so I’m delighted to be back opening the store. I’m sure it will be a huge success.”
The new store’s Complex Manager, Darren Reid, added: “Our team members have worked really hard to get the store ready for opening and are looking forward to sharing their expertise and enthusiasm with customers in Hemel. We’re ready to welcome people to the new store!”
As part of Bunnings’ ethos of engaging with local communities and families, the new store will host two grand-opening weekend events, with a raft of free family activities on June 17-18 and June 24-25 June.