Wesfarmers (one of Australia’s largest public companies and retailers) has pledged to invest £500M in transforming Homebase into the Bunnings brand over the next 3 to 5 years, if shareholder’s approval the firm’s takeover of the UK DIY chain. So I have been doing some investigation on why Wesfarmers would want to use the Bunnings brand, which is not familiar to the UK public.
It’s interesting to discover that Bunnings has captured 18% of the Australian market, while at the same time one of its major competitors, Masters, has lost considerable market share even after £3B since 2009 investment from Woolworths and its US partner Lowe. Woolworths is now intending to offload Masters. So what is it that Bunnings is doing right and why will this be good news for Homebase?
There are a number of reasons for Bunnings success, including their well-developed strategy, good locations, superior products and positive shopping experience – customers regard a visit to Bunnings as a recreational activity. But the area that most interests me is the employee culture. Bunnings has developed a strong organisational culture where workers feel empowered. Challenging the boss is expected and feedback and ideas are welcomed. Employees are happy working at Bunnings, staff turnover is incredibly low and customers notice how helpful and enthusiastic the staff are, thus making for a great customer experience. In addition, Bunnings acts rapidly on market feedback – and reflects that feedback in its decision making process.
And this is where IPowr comes in. By introducing the IPowr methodology into your workplace and to your workforce, we can facilitate cultural change where your employees will feel empowered to make suggestions for improvements on a day to day basis, and create a work environment where they feel valued, enthusiastic and proud to be working in your company. The positive knock-on effects on customer experience will boost your revenue and profitability.