Friday, December 15, 2017

News: Bunnings Warehouse opens in Rotherham

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Home improvement and garden retailer, Bunnings Warehouse, has officially opened its new Rotherham store, its first opening in the North of England.

Keen to climb up the ladder in the £38 billion a year UK home improvement and gardening market, the Australian firm acquired the struggling Homebase chain in February 2016 for £340m. The company, part of the AUS$66 billion turnover Wesfarmers Group, announced plans to invest up to £500m rolling out the Bunnings Warehouse format in the UK and Ireland over the next three to five years.

The new store is located on Parkgate, at the Northfields Retail Park which was formerly occupied by B&Q but has been vacant since June 2016. At over 70,000 sq ft, it offers customers more than 30,000 leading home improvement and garden products from a wide range of global market-leading brands. Other services include everything from paint mixing to key cutting, a garden centre, timber cutting and in-store DIY Workshops.

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Creating 80 new full and part-time jobs, Bunnings' team members have already been busy in the local area. This included redecorating two bedrooms at Rotherham Hospice for families and installing shelving at Shiloh Rotherham, a drop-in centre which offers hot food, clothing and facilities for the homeless.

Ian Smith, complex manager of the Rotherham store, said: "All our team members have worked really hard to get the store ready for opening and have undertaken many hours of training to make sure we have the expertise to help customers with home or garden projects."

To celebrate the opening, Johnny Nelson, former professional boxer joined a welcome breakfast for team members. He said: "It's been a successful morning opening the store and celebrating with the Bunnings team members. I have no doubt that the store will be a huge success."

The store will host a number events this weekend, where customers can enjoy a range of family activities including the famous Bunnings Sausage Sizzle, face-painting, balloon modelling and even join Santa for a Story Time session.

Transporting the community initiative from Australia, Bunnings holds regular "sausage sizzles" so customers can enjoy a tasty barbecued sausage sandwich while raising funds for local community groups like schools, hospitals and sports clubs.

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The firm, which also operates as Homebase out of 251 trading locations, now has 12 Bunnings Warehouse locations in the UK, with a further seven planned.

In its results for the first quarter of the 2018 financial year, Wesfarmers said that total sales decreased 17.5% (13.8% in local currency terms) at Bunnings in the UK and Ireland. It said it was due to difficult trading conditions which persisted for Homebase.

Conversely it added that the rollout of the Bunnings Warehouse pilot stores continued and that they were delivering early encouraging results.

Bunnings Warehouse website

Images: Bunnings

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