Bunnings to make major move into online shopping

The Bunnings at Glenorchy in Tasmania.

Less than two years ago, Aussie hardware giant Bunnings Warehouse insisted it had no plans to join other major retailers in offering storewide online shopping to its customers.

But the days of a quick Saturday trip to grab some home or garden supplies and a sausage in bread at one of the famed green and red outlets across Australia could soon be a thing of the past, with the announcement that Bunnings is set to join the world of online retail in a big way.

More than 60,000 products could soon be available to purchase online under a plan to ramp up Bunnings’ online sales.

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The chain began offering e-commerce options on larger items such as children’s playgrounds and sheds last year, but now hopes to offer similar services on much of its range.

Bunnings is already trialling an online retail system at one Melbourne store, with plans to roll it out nationwide over the next 18 months.

While current home delivery options will still be available for customers, under the new scheme Bunnings expects most shoppers will opt for a ‘click and collect’ option, giving them certainty that their required products are definitely in stock when they visit the store, according to Fairfax mastheads.

A Bunnings Warehouse in Brisbane. Picture: AAP

“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,” Bunnings managing director Michael Schneider told The Age.

“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.”

Bunnings currently has a 50% share of Australia’s home DIY market, but has previously been reluctant to entertain online shopping due to the high cost of fulfilling orders of its many larger items.

Meanwhile, the popularity of Bunnings stores among investors shows no signs of slowing, with record prices continuing to be paid for the Wesfarmers-leased properties.

In December a Bunnings at Glenorchy in Tasmania sold for more than $14 million on a yield of just over 3% – a yield record for any Bunnings ever sold in Australia.