Bunnings plans to spend $600 million in NSW over the next three years including a 20,000m² Bunnings Warehouse in Alexandria which will be the largest home improvement store in Australia, creating over 255 permanent jobs.
Bunnings Warehouse expansion plans in New South Wales involve a $600 million investment in the construction of 18 metro and regional sites over the next three years. In a statement issued to the ASX this morning, Bunnings expect the investment to create more than 2,700 new permanent jobs and over 3,900 additional jobs during the construction phase.
Bunnings has secured sites for 12 new Bunnings Warehouses at Alexandria, Balgowlah, Batemans Bay, Castle Hill, West Gosford, Greenacre, Rouse Hill, Tamworth, Marsden Park, Wallsend, Smithfield, and East Gardens. Of those sites, development approvals are already in place for Alexandria, Castle Hill, Rouse Hill and Tamworth with construction starting soon.
Bunnings Managing Director, John Gillam is particularly pleased with the sites the company has secured for its NSW expansion plans.
“We are delighted to be investing more than $600m in NSW over the next three years. Our NSW opening program is part of our ongoing network expansion strategy across the country. ”
Kristina Keneally, Premier, New South Wales, pointed to the NSW efficient planning system as being key to today’s announcement by Bunnings.
“Today’s announcement is great news for the NSW economy, with the new sites expected to support about 3,900 construction jobs, 2,700 retail jobs, and more than $600 million in state investment. Importantly, at least five of these sites will be located outside of the greater Sydney area, providing employment and economic stimulus to regional and rural economies. This is a major vote of confidence in the NSW planning system, the NSW employment market, and the NSW economy.”
The expansion of Bunnings Warehouse in NSW is seen as a defensive move as rival Woolworths and US giant Lowe’s plans to roll out 30 hardware and home improvement ‘warehouse’ style centres in Victoria in the second half of 2012. In particular Bunnings’ 20,000m² Bunnings Warehouse in Alexandria is expected to carry an expanded range of products, including kitchen appliances and fencing, both of which the Woolworths/Lowe’s joint venture is anticipated to carry when it opens.
Commenting on the 20,000m² Bunnings Warehouse in Alexandria Bunnings Managing Director, John Gillam emphasized the expanded range.
“As our biggest Bunnings Warehouse, our new store in Alexandria will enable us to showcase our ever expanding offer to customers with new categories including kitchen appliances and glass pool fencing and expanded ranges in landscaping and kids’ play equipment.” he said.