Bunnings invests $600m in NSW expansion

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Bunnings has today announced its plans to build 12 new warehouse stores in New South Wales as part of its nationwide expansion strategy.

The new stores are expected to create 2,700 new permanent jobs and a further 3,900 jobs during construction, according to a statement issued on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The secured sites include Alexandria, Balgowlah, Batemans Bay, Castle Hill, West Gosford, Greenacre, Rouse Hill, Tamworth, Marsden Park, Wallsend, Smithfield and East Gardens with development approvals so far in place for Alexandria, Castle Hill, Rouse Hill and Tamworth.

Meanwhile, three new warehouses are currently under construction and will commence trading soon at Seven Hills, Port Stevens and Chatswood.

The $600 million investment and new jobs have been welcomed by NSW premier Kristina Keneally.

“Today’s announcement is great news for the NSW economy, with new sites expected to support about 3,900 construction jobs, 2,700 retail jobs, and more than $600 million in state investment,” said Keneally.

“Importantly, at least five of these sites will be located outside the greater Sydney area, providing employment and economic stimulus to regional and rural economies. This is a major vote of confidence in the NSW planning system, the NSW employment market, and the NSW economy.”

The home improvement retailer currently has 77 operating stores, including 53 warehouse stores, 17 small format stores, five trade centres and two frame and truss plants, employing over 7,300 people in NSW.

Bunnings booked a bumper end of financial result in 2010 with earnings up 10.5 per cent, supported by robust growth in retail and trade sales.

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