The UK's first Bunnings warehouse is to open this Sunday in a “pre-opening, team member event” - but the store won't be open to the public until February.
Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder has described the converted Homebase store as “looking terrific” and added, “the proof will be in the pudding in terms of how the customer sees it.”
Bunnings is planning to open at least four more stores like this one over the next few months, but Mr Goyder reiterated that the conversion of the entire Homebase portfolio would depend on how the pilot stores were received.
“Conversion will depend on how the first handful go – when we're happy with how they go well move relatively quickly," Mr Goyder said. "It will take some time because there are 270 stores, but if we need to make tweaks we'll do that before we do a fast rollout."
The store in St Albans is around 70,000sq ft, measuring up to less than half the size of Bunnings' usual Australian warehouse stores.
The stores will hold around 40% more products or SKUs than former Homebase stores and bosses have pledged to dedicate more space to garden products and tools rather than kitchen, bathroom and homewares products.