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Bunnings To Sell Appliances In New MarketLink Operation

Bunnings is set to take a leaf out of Amazon’s playbook by launching their own marketplace which has already attracted the interests of several appliance and consumer electronics brands as well as distributors.

The big hardware retailer who’s online site is already the third most visited site in Australia despite having not sold goods online in the past will range many as 8000 products across key categories such as kitchen appliances, homewares and furniture, as it deals itself in to one of the fastest-growing retail platforms according to the Australian.

Called MarketLink, the Bunnings online marketplace will launch in November in time for the Black Friday sales which will see goods listed at heavily discounted prices ahead of the peak holiday period.

Unlike Amazon suppliers hoping to sell on MarketLink will need to qualify for Bunnings’ trusted sellers program. These suppliers will have to take responsibility for shipping and supply.

What percentage Bunnings will take from distributors and brands is not known.

Bunnings chief executive Michael Schneider told News Corporation the development of its own marketplace is more about better serving its customers to help them source products that Bunnings doesn’t traditionally keep but are top of mind for people landscaping, renovating or building homes and rooms.

“We are really good at providing the flooring that goes underneath your kitchen, the tiles that go around the kitchen, the splashback, the cabinetry, benchtop, the light switch, the light fitting and so forth, but we know in the appliance space there are merchants out there and brands out there that are more preferable for the customer than (what we offer),” Mr Schneider told The Australian.

“So, it’s really about facilitating an even more convenient way for our customers to shop for products for their home that don’t relate to things you would buy in a Bunnings warehouse.”

Schneider is adamant that Bunnings’ entrance into online marketplaces will be highly focused to suit its needs rather than be a complete competitor to the likes of Amazon.

“The danger with a term like marketplace is that it conjures up images of what Amazon or eBay are doing,” he said.

“We will call it Marketlink and it is a very curated range of products from very trusted brands and suppliers that complements what Bunnings sells where we don’t … have the competency to provide the product … the knowledge of the right products to buy, or brand or services. So, it’s really about ­facilitating an even more convenient way for our customers to shop for products for their home that don’t relate to things you would buy in a Bunnings warehouse.”

With an initial product range of about 8000 items, MarketLink will have strong representation in categories like appliances used in the kitchen, homewares, white­goods, home entertainment and furniture.

“We are great at selling outdoor furniture; we don’t see ourselves having competency around indoor furniture,” Mr Schneider said.

“Equally, we wouldn’t be selling everything to everybody on this site.

“This isn’t a free-for-all marketing environment — it is very disciplined, very curated.

“There are obvious things that make sense for Bunnings to be able to provide to make your home better but there are other things you might want to put in your home that don’t make sense for Bunnings to keep — so that’s the way we have defined the market we are playing in.”

It wound also be a handy bolt-on to the millions of people who visit the Bunnings website every month, Mr Schneider said.

“Every month 20 million Australians come to the Bunnings website to search for inspiration, education, innovation around products and we want to make sure that offer is really very strong for them.”

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