Wesfarmers’ Bunnings is now positioning itself to place its range of products on online shelf within two years. One of the largest home improvement retailer in Australia and New Zealand, Bunnings seems to get aligned with the digital world as it is underway to launch a fully transactional online store within 24 months.
With the shifting of products to internet space, Bunnings will enable the shoppers to transact online and collect their orders from any of the Bunnings store and for the good news of the customers the home delivery is likely to be offered by the company. On its website, Bunnings has expanded the online stock search function by enabling the customers to compare products prices and add the items to wish list.
The company does not seem to go with the fully fledged e-commerce model as the Bunnings Managing Director, Mike Schneider has previously stated that the company did not see a massive demand for a full click-and-collect offer, but it knows where to land up.
In the process of entering the e-commerce space, the retailer has escalated its investment in data analytics to better understand the geographic and seasonal market differences between Australia and New Zealand. On the digital front, Bunnings is utilizing social media and digital media platform to enhance interactions with employees and to expand the range of its services.
It has been heard that Bunnings is also working on a model where customers can get online quotes for the services such as kitchen installation and house painting.
According to presentation at Wesfarmers' strategy day in June, Bunnings has recorded a traffic growth rate of 20% a year with 13 million footfall a month. It has been expected that after Coles demerger on becoming a separately listed company in 2019, Bunnings’ exposure will increase, thereby accounting for approximately 55% of Wesfarmers' earnings and 65% of its market value.
For the fiscal year ended 30 June 2018, Bunnings Australia and New Zealand delivered revenue of $12.5 billion driven by its operation across 369 trading locations. In a related report, it was mentioned that Bunnings is looking for employees for its Warehouse and new mega store on John Oxley Drive, which is scheduled for an opening in 2019. The warehouse is estimated to be worth $43 million.
Coming back to Bunnings’ online initiative, it has to be noted that the group is trying to bring a strategic move post the arrival of Amazon in Australia and this may help it mitigate some of the retail sector challenges. The division has otherwise gathered negative sentiments on the catastrophic expansion in United Kingdom a while ago. Thus, whether the time span for this development really help Bunnings’ is something that is yet to be seen as the retail landscape is turning out to be quite a volatile one.
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