First look inside new Bunnings mega store
A new mega Bunnings opening its doors on Friday boasts national-first features and full-room displays that should give Ikea a run for its money.
The new store, which replaces the current Midland Warehouse, is the biggest in Western Australia, spanning more than 21,000sq m - nearly 7000sq m larger than the existing store - with more than double the amount of carparking at about 480 bays.
The $55 million complex has a massive range and plenty of space for easier movement, with walk-throughs in between the long aisles so customers can cut through areas.
It is the first Bunnings store in WA with a hybrid tradie-everyday shopper concept, offering bulk building materials in a fully enclosed area with five lanes of undercover carparking - enough to accommodate 32 vehicles at a time.
Tradies even have their own self checkout section to keep queues short at the other check-outs.
Other firsts for the chain in WA include an Ikea-esque wardrobe section, showing how items can be mixed and matched to suit your space, and low-height kitchen and bathroom tap displays so home builders and renovators can get a close look and feel of the range.
Easy access is a theme throughout the store: no more craning your neck to see an item on a high shelf.
Another theme throughout is shelter to protect customers, staff and stock, including the landscaping materials section and huge, colourful nursery.
The new Midland store's Australian first for Bunnings is an epic garage storage section, with mix-and-match shelving and toolboxes all in the same space.
Complex manager Justin Myles, who has been with Bunnings for 10 years, says the layout has been carefully planned to ensure products that are often bought together are nearby.
Mr Myles said there had also been a big emphasis on big growth categories such as smart home technology.
Bunnings sales have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he believes the strong trend of home-sprucing will continue as Australians have become more confident with DIY and more conscious of taking long-overdue tasks off the backburner.
People are also increasingly using social media to share their ideas and get inspired, he says.
"Especially earlier on … when you can't go out and can't spend your money on travel and entertainment and things like that, people start looking inwards and looking at their home and backyard," Mr Myles told NCA NewsWire.
"We saw some strong growth categories in paint and decoration, interior design and also landscaping.
"People were fixing up their yards, painting the kids' bedroom, redecorating with whatever they could around furniture.
"Indoor plants is also huge - it's very on-trend to have the inside of your house looking like the outside - so people were going nuts for indoor plants and all the garden decor that goes with it to make that homely feel.
"And moving into this time of the year, it's all about making your backyard ready - lots of people host Christmas, want to make that big family experience and bring people together - so outdoor furniture and barbecue (products) are on-trend."
The store has gone hard on the low, slow barbecue cooking movement, offering a galaxy of flavoured wood smoking chips, pellets and meat probes, and also complete outdoor kitchens.
"If you want to have that stunning meal for Christmas, it's all about having the bits and pieces that finish the job and make your effort worthwhile," Mr Myles said.
"For people who get into it, it's a proper science."
Another standout in the store is its eight complete bathroom and 12 kitchen displays, designed to inspire in terms of which textures, colours and materials fit well.
"We try and make it much more accessible for people to DIY, and really have a go. You can do it," Mr Myles said.
WA is set to get another epic tradie-everyday shopper hybrid Bunnings in Albany, in the state's Great Southern region.
Recently opened Bunnings metro stores with many of the new concepts:
• NSW - Gladesville, opened in August
• NT - Palmerston, opened in August
• Queensland - Pimpama, expected to open next week
• SA - Adelaide Airport, opened in April
• Victoria - Clyde North, opened September last year.
Originally published as First look inside new Bunnings mega store