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Schneider clarifies position on Bunnings UK expansion

Michael Schneider

On Friday, Property Week published a story on Bunnings following Peter Davis' attendance at a recent conference. A journalist from the publication then published an article entitled 'Bunnings unveils its bold expansion plans' which included the following erroneous 'facts':-

  • The business will be buying or leasing 100 stores in addition to the current 9 Bunnings Warehouses and 240 Homebase stores over the next 3-5 years.
  • The company will have 102 Bunnings stores open over the next 3 -5 years. 
  • The company will be experimenting with smaller 'local' stores in the UK.
  • The company has leased three new properties and purchased one in the UK.

As often happens in the retail media, within hours this story had been published by multiple news websites including Horticulture Week, Retail Gazette as well as the mainstream press in Australia, including The Australian.

We thought it was very odd that Bunnings would be changing their approach and not have a press release to announce this new news to the world and after speaking to the PR Team at Bunnings, earlier today we received the following clarification:-

A spokesperson from Bunnings said:-

"When we acquired the Homebase business in February 2016, as part of our rationale we confirmed the existing store network provided an established platform to build a Bunnings-branded business in the UK and Ireland.

We are currently in ‘Phase 1’ of our plan, and our absolute priority is focused on improving the execution in the Homebase business as well as continuing our test, learn and improve approach for the Bunnings pilot store programme. By the end of this year, we hope to have 15-20 pilot stores open.

We have also always been clear that the success of the pilot programme is an important pre-cursor to further investment and we do not have plans to further expand the portfolio".

In Australia, Michael Schneider, Managing Director, Bunnings Group has made the following statement:  “We have no current plans for network expansion in the UK. Our absolute priority is on proving up the Bunnings pilot concept and improving execution in the Homebase stores. While we will always look to optimise locations of our stores, references to plans for large scale store openings are completely incorrect.”

Source: Insight DIY Team & Bunnings Press Release

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24 October 2017

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