DIY retailer Bunnings is creating more than 1,000 jobs and stepping up a store expansion drive following its owner’s swoop for Homebase last year.
The firm plans to double the number of stores launched in 2017 from 10 to 20 after a “positive response” to pilot outlets in St Albans and Hemel Hempstead.
It comes after the firm’s owner, Wesfarmers, sealed a £340 million deal to buy Homebase from Home Retail Group and pledged £500 million of investment to roll out Bunnings Warehouse stores across the UK and Ireland.
Bunnings managing director PJ Davis said the move reflects the positive reaction from customers.
He said: “Increasing the number of pilot stores to 20 will give us the opportunity to test the concept in new geographies, with different demographics, across a range of store sizes.
“We are determined to combine the best of Bunnings Warehouse with what UK consumers want. The success of the pilots still remains a precursor to additional investment.”
The announcement was made as Bunnings opened as fourth pilot store in Milton Keynes in a move that will bring 88 new roles.
It also has plans in place for a fifth pilot outlet in Folkestone, before gearing up to overhaul Homebase stores in Thanet, Sittingbourne and Basildon Vange.