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Bunnings To Hold Sausage Sizzle To Launch New Vic Online Operation

Bunnings who are currently expanding their cheap appliances business while also bringing on board new SmartHouse connectivity products will today hold a sausage sizzle in Federation Square Melbourne after finally stepping into the world of online selling.

The Company who has massive online visitor numbers, but up until now no cart or way for consumers to purchase online, due in part to Bunnings wanting to still drive traffic to their large retail outlets.

Now the big hardware Company is set to switch on 67 Bunnings Victorian stores to a new click and pay service which while offering consumers the ability to order online still results in consumers having to visit a Bunnings store to collect their purchases.

The concept was first trialled across seven stores in Tasmania, there was also a trial at Bunnings Craigieburn store in Victoria.

“One of the things that comes as a little bit of surprise to some is the speed the organisation is moving through [the online launch],” Bunnings managing director Michael Schneider told The Age.

“But we’ve been preparing our network for this for some time.”

In March, the retailer announced it would establish an online store in the next 18 months, claiming it could do so without any significant cost burdens.

Now the timeframe has shrunk further, with Mr Schneider confident Bunnings online would be “fully up and done” by Christmas, almost a year ahead of schedule and with home delivery soon to follow the Age reported.

New South Wales is the next state in line for the retailers’ click and collect expansion, and after that, the company will be informed by customer feedback.

Schneider said, “If we encounter any substantial problems we’ll have to slow down, but right now we’re all on track for a Christmas roll-out,” he said.

Recently Bunnings cut a deal to range the Brilliant lighting range of Connected Home products, that include mirrors with built in TV’s and new light switching and security products.

The effect of the online roll-out on Bunnings’ bottom line has been a particular concern for analysts following the announcement earlier this year, with focus being placed on how the retailer will manage the fulfilment of online orders.

Currently, the plan is for existing Bunnings staff to pick stock for online orders, but Mr Schneider doesn’t rule out the possibility of an ‘Amazon-like’ online-only distribution centre.

“I’ve learnt in this role to never say never, so we’ll be informed by what customers need and look for and we’ll continue to monitor what other players do in the market as well,” he said.

“But in the immediate short term, the size and location of our network means we can do a lot at a local level.”

Bunnings owner Wesfarmers, who after de-merging Coles from its portfolio last year, is now betting on Bunnings being a star performer.

At this stage it’s not known whether the acquisition by Wesfarmers of the Catch Of The Day business will play a role in the acceleration of the Bunnings online role out or whether their existing warehouses will be used in the interim to facilitate home delivery.

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