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Giant Home Improvement Store Creates 70 New Jobs

Bunnings Warehouse Construction Underway
News release construction - 1 December 4, 2003

Giant Home Improvement Store Creates 70 New Jobs

Seventy new jobs will be created and $2 million a year in wages will be injected in to the Waikato economy when the $18 million Bunnings Warehouse in Hamilton opens next year.

Construction is well underway on the new 12,000 sq. m. home improvement super store adjacent to Benchmark Building Supplies and opposite Te Rapa racecourse.

Earthworks began in September and the steel portals are currently being erected.

It is the company's first purpose-built store in the North Island and follows the first purpose-built Bunnings Warehouse - and New Zealand's largest home improvement store - which opened in Christchurch in October this year.

The new Hamilton Bunnings Warehouse store will bring an entirely new shopping concept to the city the company says with innovations such as a hire shop, café and children's playground, free 'how-to' workshops and parking for more than 300 cars.

The new store will have more than 100 team members both full and part time with the existing Benchmark store providing the nucleus.

It will carry 45,000 different product lines across a broad range of categories including hand and power tools, electrical and lighting, painting and decorating, flooring, storage, and gardening and outdoor living as well as timber and building products.

Bunnings Warehouse New Zealand general manager Brad Cranston says the new store will be open seven days a week.

"It is bigger than two football fields including a garden centre and drive-through trade sales and timber yard area. The stock value will be between five and six times the existing store.. That's why we are going to need all those new team members."

Bunnings Warehouse will have invested about $18 million in the building and fixtures, computers systems, stock and team member induction and training before the store opens.

Mr Cranston says the company is currently recruiting for the management team and will be advertising for other team members early in the new year.

He says the company is looking for enthusiastic team players with a positive customer service attitude. There will also be opportunities for specialists in areas such as electrical, gardening, plumbing, and painting and decorating to offer customers expert advice and assistance.

"Not only will 70 new jobs have a positive impact, but also shoppers will benefit from the huge product range with expert advice and, most important, better prices through our everyday low prices policy. We guarantee the lowest prices everyday"

"The cost of home improvement in the Waikato will fall dramatically," Mr Cranston says. "Customer choice will never be broader and with our preference for employing people with trade backgrounds, the advice customers will receive will be first rate," Brad Cranston says.

The Te Rapa site will eventually become an integrated development and once the Bunnings Warehouse store is complete the Benchmark store will be removed.

Mr Cranston says a Bunnings Warehouse is planned for Rotorua with construction starting this coming May. A Tauranga store is also on the drawing board along with several new stores planned for Auckland.

Fast facts about Bunnings in New Zealand

" A leading New Zealand retailer of home and garden improvement products and building supplies.
" Four Bunnings Warehouses in Auckland and Christchurch.
" National coverage planned by 2008.
" Employs 1000 people in New Zealand.
" Part of the $4 billion a year New Zealand building market.
" 45,000 different product lines including timber, homewares, building supplies, lighting, flooring, tools, paint, plants, plumbing and gardening equipment.
" Introduces a number of customer-focused features to hardware retailing such as a hire shop, café, and free 'how-to' workshops held every weekend suitable for the expert, novice and children alike.
" First Bunnings Warehouse opened in Melbourne, Australia in 1994.
" There are now 113 stores in Australia.
" A member of the Wesfarmers Group based in Perth, Western Australia.


ends

Issued for Bunnings Warehouse by Pead PR

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