Everything you need to know about Bunnings

When Australia was in peak lockdown in April, Bunnings witnessed chaotic scenes at some stores, where social distancing was ignored by shoppers, and customers were told to go home. In spite of this, the DIY store emerged as Australia’s most trusted brand, according to research company Roy Morgan. “Bunnings is a global retail case study,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. “It keeps innovating and creating new connections with its customers.”

Bunnings Warehouse is officially Australia’s most trusted brand. Photo: Getty Images.

The hardware mecca has come a long way since last September when it was forced to publicly admit it had been underpaying many of its workers superannuation for nearly ten years. The company said the mistake was “inadvertent” and they were “very sorry” about the error.

Here, we take a look at the ups and downs of the DIY chain, and of course, the history of the sausage sizzle.

Where did Bunnings get its name?

The hardware giant is named after its founders, brothers Arthur and Robert Bunning, who arrived in WA from London in 1886. They bought a sawmill and set up Bunning Bros, concentrating on sawmilling and timber distribution. In 1952, they added building supplies and became the leading supplier of WA hard woods to the construction industry. By 1993, there were stores in Victoria and South Australia. In 1994, Bunnings was bought by Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers, who also own Kmart and Target. They now have stores in every state, with their head office in Hawthorn East, Victoria.

Bunnings is named after its founders, brothers Arthur and Robert Bunning. Photo: Instagram/bunnings.

What’s the difference between Bunnings and Bunnings Warehouse?

Bunnings Warehouses are large, often multi-level stores, which are the cornerstones of the brand. Bunnings stores are smaller and situated in regional and metro locations. Both serve retail and commercial customers. Bunnings Trade stores are the lowest cost and for commercial customers only. In Australia, there are 267 warehouses, 75 smaller format stores and 32 trade centres, that employ over 44,000 staff.

Where is the largest Bunnings?

Australia’s biggest Bunnings Warehouse is in Sydney’s Alexandria. It opened in 2013 on 20,000 sq ft over two levels. When it opened, it created 260 jobs.

Do Bunnings price match?

Yes. They say if you find something cheaper elsewhere, they’ll beat the price by 10 per cent. However, there are claims that they use different product codes on some items to avoid having to cough up. 

What are Bunnings opening hours?

Most stores are open from 6 am-7 pm on weekdays and 7 am-7 pm on weekends.

Do I need a receipt to return or exchange things at Bunnings?

If you want a full refund, you need a receipt or proof of purchase to return an item. If you don’t have a receipt, you will need to show proof of ID, such as a drivers’ licence, and you will be given an exchange voucher or an exchange for like goods. All plants are guaranteed for 12 months. Bunnings do not offer exchanges or refunds on the following:

  • Custom-made products

  • Any product specifically cut to size 

  • Toilet seats, if packaging has been opened 

  • Tinted paint

The DIY megastore is a hit with humans and pets alike. Photo: Instagram/oceancrest_frenchbulldogs.

Can I buy Bunnings products online?

Yes, but not the whole range. To find out what products are available to buy online, use the ‘order online’ filter on search results pages.

Do Bunnings deliver?

Yes. You can also arrange contactless click and collect, or if you’re in-store, ask about home delivery for bulky products. Trailers or van hire are available in many stores to help you transport big items. They have also just announced a drive-through service at 250 of their largest stores, so you can order your goods online, pull into a parking bay at the shop, text that you’ve arrived and wait for a staff member to bring out your goods. 

Can I layby or Afterpay for items at Bunnings?

No, but Openpay and Zip options are available, which allow you to buy products and pay for them later. Fees apply to each service, so make sure you know all the details before signing up.

The sausage sizzle

Known across the country for its sausage sizzles, Bunnings lets community groups come to their store and sell hotdogs to support local fundraising. However, snags don’t come without controversy. Last year vegans hit out at Bunnings for arranging a nationwide sausage sizzle to raise money for firefighters battling bushfires. People complained that “meat is a contributing factor to climate change…which is a contributing factor to these fires.”

The iconic Bunnings sausage sizzle is a ritual for most shoppers. Photo: Instagram/just__us__two.

There was also uproar when Bunnings advised community groups to place onions under sausages, instead of on top, to avoid the onions falling out, and people slipping on them.  “Safety is always our number one priority and we recently introduced a suggestion that onion be placed underneath sausages to help prevent the onion from falling out and creating a slip hazard,” said a spokesperson. “Regardless of how you like your onion and snag, we are confident this new serving suggestion will not impact the delicious taste and great feeling you get when supporting your local community group.”

Do Bunnings sell toilet roll?

Yep. They sell jumbo packs of 2-ply toilet paper – usually used in public toilets. A 6 pack of the Scott Jumbo Toilet Tissue Roll has 300m of paper in each roll and will set you back $75.70.

Where can I buy Bunnings gift cards?

As well as in-store and online, they’re available at Coles and Woolworths.

The Bunnings fans

It might just be a hardware store, but some people are fanatical about it. One Sydney couple love sausage sizzles so much, they had one for their wedding reception. The couple got married in the store, and then had their wedding reception outside, right next to the sausage sizzle. “They asked if she wanted onions and she said 'I do'. It was the best,” said groom Jordan Wilson.

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