Bunnings has today opened its fifth Warehouse store – the first outside of the existing Homebase estate – taking over a former B&Q site in Folkestone, Kent.
The new store at Park Farm Retail Park is Kent’s first Bunnings Warehouse and follows the launch of Bunnings’ biggest store to date in Milton Keynes, as well as openings in Hemel Hempstead and the first two pilot stores in St Albans.
The Folkestone store is over 74,000sq ft and carries more than 28,000 SKUs across home improvement and garden categories, including a mix of international and British brands – from Purdy’s paintbrushes to Ryobi and DeWalt power tools.
It also features a garden centre, trade desk, timber-cutting, engraving and key-cutting services and an indoor play area and café. Like other Bunnings Warehouses, the latest outlet offers paint mixing from Johnstone's Trade, Crown and Dulux.
The store, which is run by complex manager Matt Cope, employs 95 people and created 45 new full and part-time roles. It will trade seven days a week. Mr Cope said: “It is great to finally open our doors to customers. Our team members have worked really hard to get the store ready for opening and make sure we have the expertise to help with home or garden projects
In the lead up to the opening, Bunnings team members were involved in projects in the local area, including clearing an area for students to garden at The Beacon School, planting raised beds at Hill Road Community Garden and creating a sensory garden for children at Casper's Nursery.
To celebrate the opening, British skeleton Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold MBE joined a welcome breakfast for team members.
Two grand opening weekend events will also be taking place on July 29-30 and August 5-6 with family activities.
Last month Bunnings revealed it would be doubling its expansion plans in the UK and would have 20 Warehouses trading by the end of the year, with parent firm Wesfarmers reportedly "very comfortable" with the progress made by the pilot stores fo far.