Big change coming for Bunnings
FOR years Bunnings has been a haven for early rising tradies, thrifty mums and families hungry for a sausage. Now the retail giant which has taken Australia by storm has announced a big change; it's going online in a big way.
Bunnings says it will bolster its online offering next month by launching a digital platform to allow customers to shop from home and have items delivered to their doorstep.
The iconic hardware chain has already announced it will have more 60,000 products available for click-and-collect within the next year, but it will now also have its very own online marketplace.
The major retailer has dubbed the initiative Marketlink, which will give customers access to a wider range of home and lifestyle goods selling as much as 8000 products.
The online division will give shoppers access to items not currently available in store including indoor furniture, white goods, kitchen appliances, home entertainment, kitchenware and homeware.
Bunnings says its website is the third most visited shopping and classified site in the country, which makes it an attractive platform for home and lifestyle retailers and manufacturers to pursue as a sales alternative.
"We've had a very positive response from sellers and we already have more than 8000 products ready for launch on Marketlink in November," managing director Mike Schneider.
"Marketlink will feature a wide variety of products, including well-known brands, that are not currently available in Bunnings stores.
"This is about creating a highly curated range of products that extends and complements our in-store range, creating a one-stop shop for our customers' home and lifestyle needs - everything from the front gate to the back fence."
The hardware giant said it was too early to reveal the sellers who will be on offer on its site, which it hopes to launch in November.
"Our focus is on getting the offer right and we won't launch until we're comfortable that the offer is competitive and will be one that is valued by our customers," Mr Schneider said.
Last month, online retail giant Amazon revealed a plan to claw market share away from Bunnings with the launch of a range of outdoor products including barbecues, patio furniture and garden equipment.
"Our new garden store has a range of enticing outdoor products from gardening equipment to pool supplies to patio furniture to BBQs," Amazon Australia manager Rocco Braeuniger said.
"Our garden store adds to the over 125 million products already available on Amazon.com.au, underscored by great value and fast delivery."
Bunnings controls 20 per cent of the hardware and garden supplies market in Australia and has seen off competition in recent years, notably from Masters Home Improvement.
Managing director Mike Schneider refused to comment directly on the push from Amazon but said another player in the market was nothing new for the durable operator.
"We've been competing with a wide range of retailers across a broad spectrum of categories and products for a long time and we always welcome competition," he said.
"Compelling value, assortment, convenience and availability ensure our customers can trust we've got the right products both in store and online and we continue to be chosen for this along with the expertise and knowledge of our team."
Although it'll be difficult for Amazon to compete with the cultural obsession of Australians grabbing a snag and perusing the local store on a weekend, its presence does complicate Bunnings' push online.
The Wesfarmers hardware store chain wants to sell more than 60,000 products on the web and confirmed to news.com.au its click-and-collect option was already available in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
"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 said in March.