Woolworths’ Bunnings Complaint

Woolworths chief Michael Luscombe confirmed that his company has lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over Bunnings’ conduct.”We have put together some information for the ACCC relating to some concerns around supplier issues that have been brought to our attention by [the suppliers] and some property development processes in a couple of states,” Woolworths chief Michael Luscombe said in an Australian Financial Review report.

Bunnings is reported to have paid well over market rates to secure a site opposite its store in Queensland’s Hervey Bay, which Woolworths is believed to have nominated as a potential site for one of its hardware stores. Bunnings is also reported to have been active in opposing development approvals sought by Woolworths as part of its planned store roll-out. Bunnings hasn’t been the only opponent of Woolworths’ plans. Its North Geelong permit application was knocked back after submissions from competitors in the area.

The ACCC complaint was reported around the same time as one of Bunnings’ warehouses exploding into flames. Fifty people were evacuated from surrounding homes in the northern Melbourne suburb of Coburg. While the cause of the blaze was unknown, police said it was suspicious. On a more positive note, Bunnings has purchased the Home Hardware store and adjacent nursery in Broome, Western Australia, after it had been on the market for months. Both stores were to be re-branded and transformed into a Bunnings small format store by early February.