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Bunnings St Albans prepares for grand opening

The UK’s first Bunnings warehouse officially opened for business on Thursday, February 2, following a “pre- opening, team member event” last weekend. The pre-opening marked a celebratory launch for suppliers as well as staff and friends on Sunday, January 29, four months later than the original launch date in October. Wesfarmers managing

director Richard Goyder has described the converted Homebase store as “looking

terrific” and added, “the proof will be in the pudding in terms of how the customer sees it.” Bunnings is planning to open at least four more stores like this one over the next few months, but Mr Goyder reiterated that the conversion of the entire Homebase portfolio would depend on how the pilot stores were received. “Conversion will depend on how the first handful go – when we’re happy with how they go well move relatively quickly,” Mr Goyder said. “It will take some time because there are 270

stores, but if we need to make tweaks we’ll do that before we do a fast rollout.”

Bunnings’ UK team leader Peter Davis, meanwhile, said that the new store would be “instantly recognisable as a Bunnings to anyone who has ever shopped with us,” adding, “We’re bringing the widest range of home improvement and garden products to the UK market.” The store in St Albans is around 70,000sq ft, measuring up to less than half the size of Bunnings’ usual Australian warehouse stores.

The new Bunnings St Albans is less than half the size of Bunnings’ usual warehouses

The stores will hold around 40% more products or SKUs than former Homebase stores and bosses have pledged to dedicate more space to garden products and tools rather than kitchen,

bathroom and homewares products. However, according to reports, the new stores will still not measure up to the SKUs offered by B&Q warehouses, which currently hold around double.

Big winners at annual Garden Centre Association conference

The annual Garden Centre Assocation (GCA) conference took place last week, with garden centres from across the country scooping some of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Barton Grange took home a plethora of awards last week, including the top ranking Garden Centre of Excellence

Said GCA chief executive Iain Wylie, “The announcement of the top award winners at our dinner during our annual conference recognise the very best garden centres in the country. I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all of

the winners who have showed they are diligent, committed, enthusiastic and hardworking and are a credit to the horticultural industry.”

Among the winners was Barton Grange Garden Centre, which scooped a total of five prizes, including being named the top Garden Centre of Execellence, the Destination Garden Centre of the Year, and winner of the Christmas Competition, the Indoor Lifestyle Award, and the GIMA Award for Best Garden Products Retailer.

Squires Garden Centres also won big, with its Twickenham branch winning the Ruxley Rose Destination Garden Centre prize, and its Shepperton branch taking home the Best Garden Centre Restaurant Award (Garden Centre category) and Best Indoor Lifestyle Retailer (Garden Centre category). Its Milford branch, meanwhile, scored ninth in the top ten Garden Centres of Excellence.

For a full list of winners, see


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