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Temple & Webster Take On Bunnings

Furniture and homewares e-commerce hub Temple & Webster are expanding into new territory, launching online retailer The Build in a bid to steal market share from hardware giants Bunnings and Mitre 10.

This move comes as Temple & Webster shares have dropped by over 60 per cent since an August 30 high of $14.71.

Mark Coulter, CEO of Temple & Webster, told the AFR he “stopped trying to understand the market many, many years ago” regarding the share woes.

“We’re still delivering profitable growth,” he said. “We’ve got a really great brand. We stand for something more than just price. I think this is about fundamentals, and you build a sustainable business, and I think the market will follow.”

The Build by Temple & Webster is an attempt at building another sustainable business, as at least taking a slice from a market that was worth $12.3 billion in Aussie home renovations alone last year.

“Moving from loose furnishings to what’s fixed to the walls and floor, there’s a natural extension,” Coulter said.

“Bunnings and Mitre 10 are great retailers. Bunnings has done an amazing job to educate Australians about the benefits of DIY, renovating your place or doing design jobs – big or small. The market is very big.

“It’s still growing. There’s definitely room for an online-only player which has the breadth of what we’re planning across multiple categories to really be that first-stop shop, and really provide customers with the convenience and value that the online channel has over stores.”

The Build has so far cost $2 million in launch costs. Despite missing the online shopping boom that COVID brought, Coulter isn’t expecting Aussies to return to bricks and mortar shopping anytime soon.

“That underlying trend of the shift from offline to online is really driven by consumer preferences, which are independent of those macro factors,” he said.

“There may be a period of potential inflation or slowing year-on-year growth. However, that underlying trend of people wanting to shop online, that’s not going anywhere. We are really building as a business for the next generation to shop.”