Bunnings set to expand

AS part of a national goal to rapidly expand its business, Bunnings will either revamp or rebuild its Mid Valley Morwell store and open its new $21 million Traralgon store towards the end of June this year.

Contrary to rumours the Bunnings’ Morwell store was less profitable than others and could face closure once Traralgon’s store was operational.

Bunnings chief operating officer Peter Davis told The Express Bunnings was looking to “reinvest” in Morwell.

“We’ve been part of this community for more than 14 years and we have developed our business over this long period of time, so if anything, we would like to reinvest by either refreshing or replacing the store with a bigger offering,” he said.

Mr Davis confirmed there were plans for the store to either expand or rebuild but it was “too early in the piece to know whether it would be on the existing site or elsewhere”.

While plans for Morwell might be up in the air, work on the Traralgon Bunnings warehouse was on schedule and within budget, he said.

ADCO Constructions is completing the project and the store’s racking and fit-out elements are set to commence in early May.

Mr Davis said Bunnings would invest more than $21 million on the two hectare Traralgon site and the store would employ around 90 people.

The new store would include a main warehouse, indoor timber trade area, building materials and landscape supplies yard and an outdoor nursery.

Bunnings reportedly has around 85 new stores in the pipeline around the country.

Numerous finance news reports over the past month have claimed the company plans to spend $1.5 billion on opening news stores as it faces increased competition from the Masters hardware brand, owned by Woolworths.

Those reports said Bunnings currently laid claim to about 16 per cent of the market.

The Express asked Mid Valley management to comment on Bunnings’ plans but at the time of publication they had not responded.