First Bunnings Warehouse store opens in UK
The company, part of Australia’s Wesfarmers Group, plans to invest up to £500 million rolling out the Bunnings Warehouse format in the UK and Ireland over the next three to five years.
The pilot store is situated on the site of the former Homebase store in Griffiths Way. Bunnings acquired the Homebase chain for £340 million in February 2016.
The St Albans store spans 67,000 square feet and employs 68 people. Bunnings said one third of team members are aged over 50 and include former plumbers, painters, electricians and landscape gardeners who can offer expert advice on home or garden projects.
The store stocks more than 30,000 different home and garden lines. It also features timber cutting, a new tool shop, a ‘colour wall’ with over 3,000 colour tiles, and paint mixing from Johnstone's Trade, Crown and Dulux.
In addition to a 19,000 square feet garden centre, a café and an indoor children’s playground, the store also has a dedicated DIY workshop area where customers can learn skills such as wallpaper hanging and tile cutting.
To celebrate the opening Bunnings introduced its fundraising ‘Sausage Sizzle’ to the UK with Peter ‘PJ’ Davis, managing director of Bunnings UK and Ireland, cooking breakfast for team members.
He said: “Our policy is to offer customers the lowest prices, the widest range and best service, and hopefully our first pilot store demonstrates that.”
A second Bunnings Warehouse store in Hatfield Road, St. Albans will open in April and the company said it is on track to have at least four pilots up and running by the summer.
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