Big box update
Physical stores remain a focus for Bunnings
Bunnings Gregory Hills in NSW took over the ex-Masters store along Camden Valley Way
Bunnings Gregory Hills in NSW took over the ex-Masters store along Camden Valley Way
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Local area councillors have rejected a proposed Bunnings store in New Zealand
HNN Sources
Bunnings continues its roll out of traditional store fronts around Australia and its New Zealand subsidiary has faced a significant obstacle in establishing an outlet in Queenstown.
Bunnings store starts and openings

Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland will have more bricks-and-mortar Bunnings stores. Outlets are being launched or planned over the next several months.

The WA-based Bunnings Wangara store on Hartman Drive is set to open in April at the former Masters site after the big box retailer received development approval last year.

Bunnings general manager - property Andrew Marks said once completed, the Wangara warehouse would span more that 13,000sqm. He said:
We can confirm we are completing necessary conversion and reformatting works at the new Bunnings Warehouse Wangara.

Bunnings Wangara is also being marketed as a "big drawcard" for potential tenants of a development in nearby Landsdale. Property group Raine and Horne Commercial has used the retailer as a selling point for two warehouse developments on Mullingar Way.

Raine and Horne Commercial agency associate Daniel Romeo said the entire site had been transformed over the past few years and that commitment from Bunnings taking over the previous 3.18ha Masters store added to the "desirability" of the area. He told Community News:
It will increase passing traffic and exposure for businesses. It will be good for business in the area in general, attracting more tradies, potential customers for other businesses and attract new buyers/tenants to the area.

Raine and Horne Commercial director Anthony Vunlinovich said the Wangara/Landsdale area was "hit pretty hard" in the last two years with the general retail and real estate slump.

The $38 million Bunnings Warehouse located at 540 Yaamba Road, Norman Gardens (QLD) is officially opening across two weekends in March, according to The Morning Bulletin. The new store moved to a former Masters site, just down the street from its original premises.

The current Bunnings Warehouse is 8,000sqm and the new space is 12,000sqm, an increase of 4,000sqm. It includes a nursery three times the size of the previous store.

Complex manager, Glen Reid, who has been part of the Bunnings team for nearly seven years, said it is always looking for opportunities to contribute to local causes. He said:
We have been part of the Rockhampton community since 2001...Team members have supported a number of community groups including working with the Cancer Council to refinish the centre's veranda, helping Glenmore State Primary School with a gardening project to create a quiet and tranquil space and supporting Riding for the Disabled to refurbish their veranda and outdoor area.

A Bunnings store will be opening in Baldivis (WA) in April. It will be located at Lot 9050 Safety Bay Road.

Newly recruited team members have been active in the local community sharing their skills. Staff have created an outdoor space at Baldivis Volunteer Fire Station and will visit Baldivis Primary School to help build garden beds, outdoor furniture and a barbecue area for pupils to use as part of their kitchen classes

They will also conduct projects at Tanby College, pulling out the existing garden, and then placing a new water tank system for the school to use on their vegetable gardens.
Gregory Hills

Bunnings Gregory Hills in NSW will open in April after the big box retailer took over the ex-Masters store along Camden Valley Way. Mr Marks told the Camden Advertiser that conversion and reformatting works were currently under way at the site. He said:
The new site ... will span over 13,000 square metres.

Bunnings lodged an application with Camden Council in January to "amend the layout and description of an approved development to facilitate [a] new operator of the premises".

The new $15 million Bunnings Shellharbour store in NSW is opening soon. The retail warehouse is almost complete and located at the former Masters site at 15 Shandon Circuit, Albion Park.

Bunnings Shellharbour complex manager Greg Sutton has worked at Bunnings for over 15 years and said the team will continue to actively go out into the community and engage with projects. Staff recently went to Albion Park Public School to help work on a sensory garden. He told the Illawarra Mercury:
The team has also provided materials to Albion Park Men's Shed to help construct seating for their garden and supported Northcott Disability Service with a garden bed and sustainability workshop.
Bunnings NZ rejected for Queenstown store

Plans for a Bunnings store on the outskirts of Queenstown, New Zealand are being reviewed after three council commissioners refused to grant consent to the company.

The proposal was declined amid concerns over the appearance of the large 8119sqm store on State Highway 6, at Frankton Flats in Queenstown. The site would have included a main retail area, timber trade sales, outdoor nursery and landscape yard, with buildings up to 12m high.

Bunnings New Zealand general manager Toby Lawrence said the company was disappointed with the decision, but would take the feedback on board.

Despite the fact the big box retailer proposed to reduce its use of corporate colours on its signage, the commissioners said in their decision that the visual effects of a proposed 9m high sign - reduced to 6m during the hearing - and signage on the building, were more than minor. In addition, landscaping and visual effects were a problem.

The commissioners were also concerned with the building's height, bulk and mass and its impact on the street scene. Some urban design effects were more than minor, they said.
However, it is our view that these issues could be addressed with a reduced building form and potentially a different vehicle access and car parking agreement.

The commissioners agreed with the company that the loss of 1.62 hectares of industrial-zoned land, or about 1.4% of industrial-zoned land in the district, to a retail store was no more than a minor issue.
The Bunnings activity is complementary to and compatible with other activities within proximity to the site and would support construction activities.

Overall the commissioners concluded that the proposal would have more than minor adverse effects and was contrary to the objectives and policies of the District Plan and Proposed District Plan.

Under the district plan, the land where Bunnings had proposed, the store could not be used for retail unless it was "ancillary to the primary land use", the commissioners said.
Bunnings New Zealand national property development manager Brett Moody told us that Remarkables Park was not as attractive, as it is hard to access, and that Bunnings sought to be in a visible location.
We concur with the applicant that there are limited options within Queenstown where a Bunnings could establish and operate. However, our premise should not be that just because it may not be able to easily locate elsewhere, that it should be able to locate on this site or in the activity area E1 sub zone.
HNN Sources

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