Bunnings Warehouse has landed in the U.K. and Brits are very confused.
Last year, Wesfarmers acquired Homebase stores from Home Retail Group in a 340 million pound deal. They planned to convert four outlets into Bunnings pilots stores by June, with the first one being opened this Thursday in St Albans.
The signs of Bunnings' incoming have been there for a while.
And we get going :-) pic.twitter.com/QGdEBvpOPC— Nick Ridley (@nickridleyuk) November 30, 2016
Kiwis, we are getting a Bunnings Warehouse in Britain. Can you send Squiggles next? pic.twitter.com/flA4h2dxqe— Christopher Hooper (@TophHooperton) January 17, 2017
Great to see our external signage go up as we prepare for our first launch in the U.K. pic.twitter.com/WIsT7A2ogK— Nick Ridley (@nickridleyuk) January 13, 2017
Goodbye Homebase - Now Bunnings Warehouse. The Homebase brand will disappear soon. The Oz Bunnings Warehouse - Holywell Hill St Albans pic.twitter.com/ZyPrDUIWiJ— My St Albans (@StAlbansHistory) January 8, 2017
One thing is clear: Britons have no idea what is about to hit them. Channel 7 News aired some vox pops last week and nobody had the foggiest idea what a Bunnings Warehouse actually is.
"Bunnings to me is a bunny," one woman laughed.
"Sounds like a proper man's outlet," another man said.
Bunnings plans to overhaul the 260 former Homebase stores by cutting prices, throwing out the home decor nick-knacks and duvet covers and getting back to basic home improvement and gardening supplies. They're hoping to take on the current U.K. market leader in DIY, B&Q.
The new store in St Albans, about one hour north of London, will be kitted out with a cafe, children's play area and a training area for staff and customers. And there will be sausages.
But what will the traditional sausage sizzle be like in the considerably colder, wetter and foggier climate? This parody Twitter account has given us a good picture:
You're welcome, Britain.