John Ibbotson / 13th February 2017
Bunnings enters UK DIY market with St. Albans store
Following its recent acquisition of Homebase, Bunnings opened its first UK store in St. Albans a few weeks ago, I had visited the Bunnings in Australia and was keen to see if they had adapted their format and offer.
The answer was no, emphatically NO, there were very few concessions to the new market, but they have stuck to their original principles of product, more product and low prices.
All ticketing in the hand-written style, that works well on promo ends, but sometimes appears to devalue the product quality.
What did surprise me was the quality of the products on offer, even at the lowest price points, and this seemed to be well received especially appealing to the impulse buyers.
It did take some time to navigate as the merchandise is stacked very high and signage is not visible between categories. Combined with the vast array of merchandised products, it can seem a little overwhelming if not intimidating. But this is a man cavern, and fun.
The garden area was a complete delight, wonderful and unique products at great prices. Olive trees £80-£100 fantastic offer. This was the theatre of the store, beautifully laid out, with great product and after the shouting of the store a real oasis.
Generally, it reminded me of the old B&Q before it went soft sell and soft on product, there’s nothing soft about Bunnings.
I think with a few fixes, the new DIY entrant will be a huge success, certainly on this wet Tuesday, the car park was full, customers were voting with their feet and wallets.
I think they may have Hit the nail on the head!