Huge change coming to Bunnings
SUBURBAN Australia's favourite weekend jaunt is going to Bunnings, grabbing a snag and buying products they didn't know they needed. That could change with the hardware giant announcing its push into online shopping.
A trial is already underway at one store in Melbourne with a planned nationwide rollout over the next 18 months.
Bunnings kicked off its e-commerce offering last year, selling about 20,000 heavier items such as playgrounds and sheds and it further tested its strategy earlier this year through a pop-up shop on eBay.
Managing director Michael Schneider is now planning to have a fully transactional website selling more than 60,000 products in the next year-and-a-half.
"If we can go faster and it makes sense we'll look at that but we just want the customer experience to be really good," he told the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday.
"There are so many good online players out there we want to make sure the way we serve our customers is a very positive and a very Bunnings experience."
Mr Schneider told Nine's masthead The Age the online store would be more convenient for customers.
"A product that sells out almost every weekend is turf - we'll put two or three pallets of turf in the store and it's gone sometimes on the Friday night because customers want to secure that stock," he said.
"That online purchasing … will help customers be more confident they're not driving to a couple of Bunnings stores on a weekend to fill out the project."
The chain's existing home delivery service will be available for goods bought online but expects most shoppers to opt for "click and collect" service to buy online and collect in store. So that weekend snag could still be that Saturday treat.
Bunnings, owned by conglomerate Wesfarmers, has defied the retail sector's downturn and the falling Sydney and Melbourne property markets.
Wesfarmers chief executive told analysts when reporting the group's half-year earnings results earlier this year the hardware chain had benefited from Australians ditching large-scale renovations and opting for DIY projects amid growing cost-of-living pressures.
Bunnings has reported strong earnings growth in the last three years.