Major technological trials for Bunnings stores

by | Jun 6, 2023

Bunnings is trialling a retail robot from Zippedi to do night-time rounds of stores, scanning aisles and shelving out-of-stock items.

Image: Bunnings

Michael Schneider, Managing Director, revealed the trial at the strategy briefing day held by parent Westfarmers on May 30th, saying that is was part of a broader program of work to make in-store processes more efficient.

“[We are trialling] robots to optimise our space and stock replenishment with overnight aisle scanning,” Mr Schneider said, with an accompanying slide showing a Zippedi-branded robot on a shop floor.

“What we are aiming to do here is reduce team member hours spent locating hand stock to be filled, or completing [shelf] gap and price checks.”

Mr Schneider said the retailer had also made improvements to the app that team members use to fulfil e-commerce orders from shelf stock and that Bunnings is trialling electronic shelf labelling to further save team member hours.

“A variety of tools and solutions have been deployed to make team members’ jobs easier and for them to be more productive, with new rostering platforms across Australia and our team management tool Workday plus our communications platform Workplace,” he said.

The broader purpose of the trials and technology projects is to reduce the time staff spend performing tasks which is better spent serving customers.

“We are reinvesting team member time away from ‘task’ and back into service using technology and have redeployed over 2.4 million hours of task [time] since 2020. Excitingly, another million hours is earmarked [to be saved] for the financial year ahead,” Mr Schneider said.

“[We are] accelerating data and digital capabilities to support customers shopping across channels and driving productivity and of course strengthening our commercial offer.”

Mr Schneider foreshadowed enhancements to the retailer’s product information management platform to enable greater accuracy of our product data right across the business.

 

 

“We are utilising data in many ways across the business to make smarter ranging decisions and give customers a more personalised experience, as well as to simplify our operations. This is creating value from both a growth and productivity point of view,” he said.

Mr Schneider also said that much effort was being invested into creating extra value for customers when they shop at a Bunnings store and into ‘understanding them better’.

“This is enabling us to personalise content and marketing, including emails tailored to a customer’s local store. We can share great value product recommendations and suggest helpful how-to content online to assist customers to make the most of their purchases,” he said.

“Customers can now use their Bunnings app to create a shopping list, find products, collect FlyBuys points and store and receive their receipts digitally. Soon we will enhance this capability, making shopping even easier with barcode scanning for product discovery reviews, [and] e-commerce in the Bunnings app to access full product ranges in-store or at home.”

“We are continuing to enhance our digital tools to provide inspiration to our customers both pre- and post-shop, engaging our customers and creating a more personalised experience, no matter where they are shopping with us,” Mr Schneider concluded.