Bunnings Redefines “Hardware”

Bunnings appears to be diluting its placement as a hardware store, with the potential inclusion of whitegoods, such a fridges into its product range.

The question is, with the store currently fully stocked with goods, and the physical dimensions of the store being fixed, what is going to be lost to accommodate less and less applicable product lines?  My guess would be there will be a continual decline in the variety of products, resulting in less choice and more “this is the brand/model everyone is expected to buy”.  This inevitably leads to “Ryobi is the only brand of power tools you can choose” etc.

Perhaps I am being overly harsh, but after fridges and other whitegoods move in, what’s next?  Do we (as shed dwellers) need a list of suppliers where we can still buy real hardware, consumables and tools, so we still have the variety of choice of brands that we deserve?  It may result in having to use a little more petrol going from location to location, but I’m sure we can fill up at a Bunnings Petrol Station when they again diversify into another non-hardware related marketplace.

6 Responses

  1. Well said Stu. Hopefully the Woolworths option provides some true competition and differentiation and not more of the same.

  2. If we, as shed dwellers, did get a list of suppliers from whom we could buy real hardware, consumables and tools, all the evidence over the past couple of decades indicates that very few of those specialist suppliers would survive financially. We may make statements of support for the local suppliers, but we buy online from overseas suppliers such as Rockler et al, or we get a price from a local supplier, then have Bunnings beat it by 10%. The situation is only going to get tougher with the advent of Woolworths, and none of us is going to pass up the chance of cheaper prices from the big boys. Certainly, if your main interest is in owning Festool, or Torquemaster, or Fein, then you will have to support the specialist suppliers. However, for most shed dwellers, for most of their purchases, Bunnings and their ilk are the most convenient and the cheapest, and that’s why they make a profit, something specialist suppliers often struggle to do.

  3. Just to be on the other side… last week I went into Bunnings… and could not find any thing that I actually went in for…They could special order it if I wanted to wait a few months… There were lots of SH*T that I can get at any warehouse style store.. but NOT what I wanted…
    Some of the brand names that I found, are available from other retailers… for on the most part… at least the same price or cheaper….

    As to the comment about Festool.. Torquemaster or Fein.. well check out the Chinese products… well made well priced and well…..better off over there… LOL
    But Bunnings have lots of them…and believe it or not… they are not cheaper ….
    Sorry If I am getting up on my soap box,,,,

  4. I think you just have to stop thinking of Bunnings as simply a hardware store in the old sense of the word. Call it a home improvement store, or whatever. They sell flat packed kitchens & laundry cabinets, so white goods seems like a logical addition.

    I agree that this may mean other parts of the range suffer and you’ll be able to buy any power tool you like as long at it’s a Ryobi, but this shouldn’t bother us if we don’t like Bunnings anyway and only shop at _real_ hardware stores ;-)

  5. Obviously, my comment about Festool, Torquemaster or Fein seems to have been misunderstood by Larry, so I’ll try again. If you want one of those products, you MUST go to a specialist supplier, because Bunnings et al do not stock them. However, the brands I have usually bought from Bunnings or the local Mitre 10 have been Makita, Metabo, De Walt and the like, and they have been quite reliable and suitable for my needs, and, I suspect, the needs of most shed dwellers. Some of these have been made in China, some not, but the standard seems consistently OK. I also have a GMC linisher that has been reliable and useful, and a Ryobi 18v Impact Driver that has been excellent, and both of these were made in China.

  6. Im a builder, bunnings offer me a no fuss easy to deal with one card/multi store option. Mitre 10… usually has a better option… but i dont have the option to put it on a single card as i do with bunnings. This is HUGE for me, one trade card, many stores, if woolies/lowes dont offer the same thing, i am afraid bunnings will have my business, im not talking about tool quality… but the basics, raw materials. my fingers are crossed, and im hoping… time will tell

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