Big box update

Bunnings sites up for sale

The hardware retailer is also conducting a trial of Zippedi robots in stores as a way of creating more time for staff to provide customer service

Properties that have Bunnings stores located in two Melbourne suburbs and regional NSW have been placed on the market.

The 7000sqm site in the inner-city Collingwood in Melbourne is expected to sell for about $65 million, according to The Age.

Bunnings has four five-year options on a lease that expires in 2027. The property returns $3.11 million a year in rent.

The property is on a large 5375sqm parcel of Commercial 1 zoned land which allows for a range of potential multi-level developments.

The Holckner family, known in part for its philanthropy, paid $30.7 million for the building in 2005. It was converted from offices in 2016, when the site underwent a $46 million re-fit that included strengthening the floor and adding a travelator.

Burgess Rawson agents Billy Holderhead, Yosh Mendis, Zomart He and Beau Coulter have the listing. In The Age, Mr Coulter said:

Underlying land value of the site will reflect about 75-80 per cent of the purchase price.

The second Bunnings for sale is located in the Chadstone Homemaker Centre, owned by Newmark's listed real estate trust NPR.

The 19,574sqm centre anchored by Bunnings is on 15,175sqm of land and returns $5.61 million a year in rent. It has Commercial 1 zoning, which allows for future development.

Records indicate the centre is valued at around $82 million, which is a likely price guide, according to The Age.

JLL agents Stuart Taylor, Nick Willis, Tom Noonan, Sam Hatcher, MingXuan Li and Stonebridge's Justin Dowers, Philip Gartland and Kevin Tong have the listing.

The stand-alone Bunnings store in Young, NSW sits on a 11,530sqm site and carries a 10-year lease expiring in November 2030. It could draw strong interest from local and foreign investors chasing a passive investment, reports The Australian.

In-store robots

Bunnings is trialling a robot made by Zippedi to do night-time rounds of stores, scanning aisles and shelves for out-of-stock items.

In 2018, HNN included a story on digital merchandising that featured robots in Lowe's stores:

Digital Merchandising - HI News, September 2018, page 41

Managing director Michael Schneider revealed the trial at this year's Strategy Day hosted by parent company Wesfarmers. He said it was part of a broader program of work to make in-store processes more efficient.

[We're trialling] robots to optimise our space and stock replenishment with overnight aisle scanning. What we're aiming to do here is reduce team member hours spent locating hand stock to be filled, or completing [shelf] gap and price checks.

Mr Schneider said the retailer had also made improvements to the picking app that team members use to fulfil ecommerce orders from shelf stock. In addition, he said that Bunnings is also "trialling electronic shelf labelling to further save team member hours."

  • Sources: The Age, The Australian and iT News
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