DIY and gardening retailer Bunnings is set to open its first small store format in Bicester, as part of a trial to see how it would fare compared to its usual big box stores.
This new format store will be around a third of the size of Bunnings’ largest warehouse in the UK so far, which the Australian retailer has found challenging since it entered the market earlier in February.
Bunnings has so far opened 12 warehouses around the country, and the small-store format comes after it endured a difficult start in the UK when it recorded losses of £54 million and a 13.8 per cent drop in sales in its first full year.
“We are still in phase one of our acquisition plan and trialling Bunnings pilot stores is an important part this,” Bunnings UK and Ireland boss Peter Davis said.
“We are testing and learning from different formats, store sizes and locations, and the success of the pilots remains an absolute precursor to any further investment.”
Bunnings entered the market after its parent company Wesfarmers acquired Homebase in mid-2016 for £360 million, and opened its first UK store in St Albans.
Part of the acquisition deal of Homebase includes converting those stores into the Bunnings Warehouse format.