Bunnings Ousts Wattyl

Bunnings has completed an eight-month range review of interior and exterior paint, woodcare, metal, pavement and spray paint that formed part of ongoing range review work undertaken across all product categories to, according to Bunnings, ensure that it “continues to deliver the best offer to customers”. One outcome was that Wattyl products would no longer be seen on Bunnings shelves.

“A major outcome of the review will be significant range expansions of PPG’s and DuluxGroup’s products, ensuring a more innovative paint offer for customers,” read a Bunnings press release. “This decision, which will mean that Bunnings will no longer stock Valspar Wattyl products, following the recent de-ranging of Valspar Wattyl exterior broadwall products and the late 2010 de-ranging of a number of products including Valspar Wattyl interior paint products, Nippon Solareflect and Nippon interior paints.”

Valspar happens to be the paint supplier of choice to US hardware chain Lowe’s, which has teamed up with Woolworths to try to knock Bunnings off its perch at the top of the retail hardware tree. Valspar’s acquisition of Wattyl was always seen as a precursor to building manufacturing capacity to service the new hardware venture.

Wattyl’s interior decorator paints were ousted from Bunnings aisles several years ago for what the retailer saw as underinvestment and performance. But removing market leading exterior coatings, Solagard and Killrust, was more of a shock, catching Wattyl executives by surprise. Though Bunnings Wattyl forms just 10-15% of Wattyl sales, it was worth $30-40 million in annual sales, making Bunnings its biggest customer.