GTN Xtra's Trevor Pfeiffer attended the opening of the fourth, and largest, Bunnings Warehouse in the UK and Ireland at Milton Keynes on Thursday to bring you exclusive picture coverage.
And there are notable changes in the gardening sections of the store compared to the first three:
- Plants are outdoors in a much larger area.
- Plant stock is stored in an area behind the garden centre so as not to have Danish trolleys in the aisles
- A separate entrance and exit to the Garden Centre section with till point
- Gardening supplies (ferts chems and seeds) are inside in the main store
- Wild Bird Care is ranged alongside other Garden supplies
- There is an increased range of structural, plant support and garden decoration products
- And an even larger range and display of garden furniture and BBQ's
The store occupies over 90,000 square feet and employs 140 people – including more than 88 in newly-created full and part-time roles.
It also stocks more than 35,000 different home improvement and garden products, including a mix of international and British brands – from Purdy’s paintbrushes, never before available to non-professionals, to Ryobi and DeWalt tools. Paint mixing services from Johnstone’s Trade, Crown and Dulux are also available in-store.
Bunnings team members have already been busy in Milton Keynes, lending a helping hand with gardening and decorating projects for MK Snap, Loughton Manor First School, and Milton Keynes Hospital. This support continues a long tradition by Bunnings in Australia and New Zealand of playing an active part in the local community.
To celebrate the opening, Australian legend and racing driver Mark Webber hosted a welcome breakfast for team members.
Nine-time Grand Prix winner and F1 legend Mark Webber said: “Bunnings Warehouse is a huge name in my native Australia, so it’s an honour to be opening their biggest UK store to date. I’m sure the store will be a great success.”
The store’s Complex Manager, Kevin Dale, added: “It is great to finally open our doors to customers. Our team members have worked really hard to get the store ready for opening.
"Collectively we’ve already completed more than 1,500 training hours to make sure we have the expertise to help with home or garden projects.”
Two grand opening weekend events will also be taking place on 8/9 and 15/16 June with a raft of free family activities.
"Customers can enjoy face-painting, balloon modelling and even join Peppa Pig & George for a Story Time session (see in store for details).
The company, part of Australia’s Wesfarmers Group, plans to invest up to £500million rolling out Bunnings Warehouse stores across the UK and Ireland over the next three to five years.
See GTN Xtra's picture gallery below
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