By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: Bunnings’ decision to significantly expand its cooking and kitchen appliance business has been a success for suppliers, with one sales manager saying that selling into Bunnings was the best thing the company ever did.
Since announcing its intention to widen its cooking range to include ovens, cooktops and rangehoods, there has been significant muttering in the industry about the merits of such a move. One supplier said this decision would backfire, with a hardware store not being able to service the needs of cookware consumers. Conversely, a leading retailer told Current.com.au that this move was a serious threat to a traditionally reliable moneymaking category.
Now, two months since the expansion, some results have been calculated. Technika national sales manager, Anthony DeVincencis, said it had been a runaway success.
“It’s probably the best that thing we’ve ever done, is go into Bunnings, because the exposure of our brand has been unbelievable,” DeVincencis told Current.com.au.
“I think what Bunnings will do for cooking is open the category up even more and actually take business away from these guys who have had it on a platter for a while.”
DeVincencis said Bunnings originally approached Technika to stock its range of premium cooking appliances. It is also selling Technika’s Bellissimo brand, which DeVincencis said was “more along the builders’ line entry point.”
Technika currently has established retail partnerships with The Good Guys and Retravision, and is also firmly entrenched in the Designers/Specifiers/Architects (DSA) channel. This move into Bunnings has created a whole new consumer base for the brand.
“This time of year, cooking normally slows down; normally people go into stores like Good Guys and Retravision and Clives and they’re all buying plasma screens and small appliances, but with Bunnings, people being in holiday mode, and whether they’re at their holiday home or out in the country, they all go into Bunnings to buy something for their holiday house.
“You’ve got this whole department of cooking, and people on their holidays say, ‘You know what, maybe we do need a new rangehood’, and they’ll buy it there and then, whereas they probably wouldn’t go to a Good Guys store or a Retravision store for that, because you don’t buy things in those stores for DIY.”
DeVincencis concluded by saying that Technika was very interested in Woolworths’ upcoming hardware store venture, and that this would be another opportunity to grow the Technika business.