Bunnings $1.5b plan

The opening of Bunnings 200th warehouse store at Greenacre (NSW) exemplifies what it does best. It was a mixture of celebrating local communities and their heroes, raising money and strong corporate messaging with a large turnout of staff. The Bunnings story was played out in a positive way, at every level.

The company chose the Greenacre opening to announce that it will create 6,000 Australian jobs over the next three years through a $1.5billion network expansion plan. In addition, more than 11,500 jobs will be created during the construction phase.

Bunnings future network expansion plans are underpinned by a pipeline of up to 85 sites across Australia and New Zealand with 18 sites already under construction (representing more than 250,000 square metres of space). This investment is part of Bunnings longstanding network expansion plans. The business is opening between 16 and 26 new trading locations annually.

Managing director John Gillam says, “We’re thrilled to have opened our 200th Bunnings warehouse and continuing to grow our business so strongly 18 years after opening the first warehouse in Sunshine, Victoria.

“We have worked hard at growing our business successfully by continuously innovating and improving our offer for customers. Bunnings is Australia’s leading home improvement and outdoor living retailer, offering the widest range, lowest prices and best service to families and households across Australia and New Zealand. We’re very excited about the opportunities we see ahead. Expanding our network will allow us to serve more and more communities.”

At the Greenacre opening, Bunnings raised $22,000 for local community groups through its “Hammertime 200” challenge. A number of celebrities including Canterbury Bulldogs legend, Hazem El Masri and star winger for the West Tigers NRL team, Lote Tuqiri competed to hammer in the most nails for charity in 60 seconds, with every nail representing a $200 donation to a local community group.

The new Greenacre store represents an investment of more than $41million and consists of a main warehouse and outdoor nursery, with parking for over 390 cars. It stocks an extensive range of outdoor living, leisure and lifestyle products, hardware and garden products, including building supplies, timber, paint, plants, gardening equipment and supplies, plumbing, lighting, flooring and tools. According to general manager for merchandising and marketing, Clive Duncan, it refined some elements of the store based on customer feedback. For example, the process for waiting times has been streamlined in the paint department. Space efficiencies have also been created throughout the store.

Within all its product offerings, Bunnings provides a family friendly shopping environment because the Greenacre store has a cafe and a playground, the same as all warehouse stores since 1994. In line with the company’s commitment to sustainability, the Greenacre warehouse will implement a number of energy and water saving design features. These design features will include the installation of a water harvesting system where rainwater is collected in underground tanks and used to irrigate the nursery plants and flush toilets. Nursery runoff water is collected to irrigate the site landscape areas. Roof skylights allow natural light to enter and the lighting system is capable of dimming to save power.

In addition to the Greenacre store, Bunnings’ current store network includes 59 small format stores, 36 trade centres and six frame and truss centres throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The Hardware Journal travelled to New South Wales to see the Greenacre store courtesy of Bunnings

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