Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Bunnings St Albans to open this week

Published: 30 January 2017 - Jenny Wonnacott

The UK's first ever Bunnings store is to officially open on Thursday, February 2, following a “pre-opening event” held this weekend.

The new Bunnings store in St Albans will be “instantly recognisable” to anyone familiar with the Australian retailer
The new Bunnings store in St Albans will be “instantly recognisable” to anyone familiar with the Australian retailer's format

Bunnings is planning to run several “pre-opening” events for the staff, friends, family, suppliers and local communities surrounding the new stores, of which St Albans is the first. All the events involve the famous Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser.

Last weekend's event was, according to a Bunnings spokesperson, for the staff at St Albans to “thank them for their hard work” as well as officially give the store team their Bunnings “reds” (uniform).

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."

Bunnings' UK team leader Peter Davis, meanwhile, said that the new store would be “instantly recognisable as a Bunnings to anyone who has ever shopped with us,” adding, “We're bringing the widest range of home improvement and garden products to the UK market.”

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. However, according to reports, the new stores will still not measure up to the SKUs offered by B&Q warehouses, which currently offer around double.

Wesfarmers has said it is keen not to repeat the mistakes made by US rival Lowes, which, along with Australian partner Woolworths, recently lost billions of dollars attempting to launch American DIY store Masters in Australia.

Mr Goyder added that he remains confident Bunnings in the UK will achieve a 18% return on capital within three to five years.

The new-format stores are expected to employ more staff than the traditional Homebases, and incorporate more family-friendly elements such as cafes and playgrounds. There are plans for hosting sausage sizzles just like the stores Down Under. A Bunnings UK website is reportedly also under development, to run alongside the existing Homebase site.

 

For more updates on the new Bunnings store opening, watch DIYWeek.net.

Comments


(Your email address will not be published)
Already Registered?
Sign In
Not Yet Registered?
Register
Printable View E-mail Bookmark
*

What do you think?


As we near the end of the summer season, which category is the biggest for you in the build up to autumn and winter?






Latest reader comments

re: B&Q overhauls kitchen and bathroom sales process

B&Q bob
They have taken away showroom staff commission most earning a minimum of £300 a month and replaced it with an extra 50p an hour! So the ...

re: Homebase creditors approve Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal

Robert
Does this mean other premises in the same retail parks, with the same landlords, will also see their rents reduced by 50%? It is only fair!...

re: B&Q overhauls kitchen and bathroom sales process

BQ bob
No employees will be worse off! That's what they said when they changed staff wages two years ago now older staff are £2300 a year worse ...

re: Clas Ohlson to close Croydon store, as it continues to “optimise” UK store base

Leonardo
Clas Ohlson was a favourite shop for shopping. Over the years since it opened I always shopped for small electronic items which were very ...

re: Clas Ohlson to close Croydon store, as it continues to “optimise” UK store base

L Shepherd
It is a pity CL couldn't move across the road to Centrale and set up a new format shop there. Now there is no other shop like Clas Olson ...

Most read stories

Blog and Comment

Dawn of a new age in customer service

Customer service used to be about answering telephones and responding to written requests, but our fast paced, social media driven society ... Read More >>