The dominance of Bunning Warehouse faces a new test as an online disrupter enters the home improvement market.
A new challenger is taking on the Bunnings Warehouse empire with a huge range of home improvement products such as fans, lights, bathroom vanities, kitchen fixtures, and wallpaper, and much more to come.
Online furniture retailer Temple & Webster on Wednesday announced it was moving into the $26 billion DIY space with the launch of a new business called The Build, no doubt aiming to claim some of the renovators who would otherwise head to Bunnings.
The company said it will spend $10 million setting up The Build, with plans for an initial offering of 20,000 products across 39 categories.
This includes bathroom fixtures (vanity units, toilets, sinks, tapware, bathtubs), kitchen fixtures (cupboards, sinks, taps), indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, blinds and curtains, and wallpaper.
Temple & Webster chief executive Mark Coulter said further categories including tools and building equipment will be added over the coming months.
“Australia is a country of home renovators, we love our homes, and we love making them more beautiful,” Mr Coulter said.
“The Build by Temple & Webster is aimed at making home improvement jobs, big or small, easier, cheaper, and better.”
Having already carved out a foothold in the furniture space Mr Coulter said The Build aimed fill a gap in the online DIY market, which accounts for just 4 per cent of home improvement sales in Australia compared to 25 per cent in the UK.
The company has its work cut out for it if it hopes to outshine the jewel in the $55b Wesfarmers crown.
Bunnings is the major player in the local DIY scene and accounts for about half of the Australian market.
Temple & Webster has been around since 2011 but really came into its own during the Covid pandemic as locked-down Australians set up home offices and splurged their stimulus money on improving their living spaces.
The company’s value surged more than fourfold in 2020 and at one stage topped $1 billion as it rode the e-commerce wave alongside the likes of Kogan, JB Hi-Fi, Nick Scali, Redbubble, and Harvey Norman.
However, shares in Temple and Webster sagged to a near two-year low $5 on Wednesday and have now lost two-thirds in value since August as lockdowns and stimulus measures fade and the online sales boom unwinds.
Nonetheless, Temple & Webster told investors on Wednesday its trading performance from January through to the end of April had improved by 23 per cent on the same time last year.