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Ancient Observer
6th Feb 2018, 17:54
OK, I know it is supposed to be called Bunnings, but you can't tell that from their recent conversion of Home Base in Loudwater/High Wycombe.

The conversion is a complete disaster. Before, there was a good Homebase which was aimed as much at the ladies as it was at men. Lots of good displays of kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms etc. Soft furnishings available, and great tiling displays. It had a bit of class, and was a distinct step up from B & Q.

The Dunwits behind the conversion have turned it in to B & Q without the class. And without any room displays. Tiny and useless display of lights, truly bad signage, and no tills. None. The only till is called "customer Service" and had no queue, as there were no customers.

I have no idea who is supposed to shop there. SWMBO has been once for a look, and will never go there again.

Home base made this mistake themselves some years back. They forgot who their customers were. So private equity bought it, realised that their best customers were women, and turned it around. I suspect that Dunwits have completely screwed it up now.

TWT
6th Feb 2018, 18:46
It's a disaster. Wesfarmers, the parent company of Bunnings, have written off $1 billion in losses.

'Worse than Masters' - Wesfarmers' British Bunnings nightmare deepens (http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/worse-than-masters-wesfarmers-british-bunnings-nightmare-deepens-20180206-p4yzim.html)

Bunnings stores in Oz are a carbon copy of B+Q ( and very successful). They have their UK formula all wrong. Perhaps a case of too much money, too little sense.

skydiver69
6th Feb 2018, 18:47
Funnilly enough the owners have announced store closures and job cuts whilst also saying that the stores that they have re branded have been doing better as Bunnings than they were as Homebase.

goofer3
6th Feb 2018, 20:59
One Homebase a few miles away has closed, the other larger one we visited a couple of weeks ago. Most of the displays had been removed and they had pallets of "stuff" just laid out on the floor. It looked more like a derelict warehouse. No wonder they are in trouble.

Bull at a Gate
6th Feb 2018, 22:06
Do your Bunnings stores look different to the ones in Oz? Here they have been a huge success.

tartare
6th Feb 2018, 22:08
Lived in London for 5 years and were a regular at B&Q Chiswick.
I smiled wryly when Wesfarmers announced they were going into the UK.
`Watch them fvck this up and loose their shirt' I thought.
And sure enough...
B&Q have a stranglehold on the `hard' DIY brandspace in the UK and know their customers very well.
Wesfarmers are huge down here, and they're incredibly arrogant - because Bunnnings (which is good I must say) has been such a success in Australia and has beaten off rival Woolsworths disastrous attempt to compete with it - known as Masters.
Among my adopted countrymen, there is a particular type of swaggering, red-faced loud mouth Aussie smart-arse - usually with a beer belly.
That's Wesfarmers senior management to a tee.
They thought they could just walk into the UK - same as Oz - just a bit larger... because they know better.
So, so wrong...

SpringHeeledJack
6th Feb 2018, 22:36
Dunnings, that's funny. Reminds me of the Dunnyman ;-) The problem with introducing a well known brand name from elsewhere is that unless it's an international brand, you're facing headwinds all the way. Huge M&S did it in the USA back in the day and turned on it's tail, Walmart did it in Germany in Y2K and lost out to Aldi and Lidl etc...... No one knows who the hell Bunnings are in the UK, save for those with antipodean connections. Added to that the (much loved in Aus) company has the wrong type of name to make an impact, it gives a cosy family run small concern vibe. They should have left the branding the same and concentrated on the content that they offered their customers. This might be the deal that takes the swagger out of Wesfarmers.

I've just remembered that in Ireland Harvey Norman has gone from strength to strength over the last 20 years, so it does work on a smaller scale.

Ancient Observer
6th Feb 2018, 22:54
I deliberately called it Dunnings. As SHJ points out....

Dunny man. (Australia, colloquial, now chiefly historical) Someone whose job it is to empty (http://www.yourdictionary.com/empty) the cesspit (http://www.yourdictionary.com/cesspit) from a basic toilet (http://www.yourdictionary.com/toilet) which is not attached to a plumbing (http://www.yourdictionary.com/plumbing) system.
Read more at Dunny-man dictionary definition | dunny-man defined (http://www.yourdictionary.com/dunny-man#yhk9xL9i0reC7ej0.99)

Ancient Observer
6th Feb 2018, 22:58
The other element in the competition in the UK is that real Pros in the Tradesmen world have other cheap sources to go to. If it is not B & Q, they can go to a number of either small shops or warehouse type places.
The Dunny men have no distinctive appeal to anyone. The bit of distinctive appeal of Homebase - to the ladies - has been shafted.

bosnich71
6th Feb 2018, 23:16
Here in Oz Bunnings have practically no opposition,bit different in UK maybe.

India Four Two
6th Feb 2018, 23:20
Huge M&S did it in the USA back in the day and turned on it's tail,

Same thing happened in Canada. They basically cloned British stores, even down to the stupid bell that the staff on the till had to ring to call a supervisor for "complex" transactions.

They presumed that Canadians would buy the same clothes as Brits did. They neglected to take into account that Canadians don't wear thick, warm clothes indoors, and they wanted colourful clothes, not the dowdy, tweedy stuff that M&S were trying to sell.

Of course, as an ex-Brit, I was happy to buy socks, underwear and chocolate digestives, while they lasted!

krismiler
7th Feb 2018, 01:45
In Australia people spend more time outside because the weather is generally good and Bunnings stores have products to cater for this.

In the UK people spend more time inside because the weather is generally poor and DIY stores have products to cater for this.

Massive BBQs and Swimming pool supplies won’t be in high demand during a British winter.

ExSp33db1rd
7th Feb 2018, 08:27
Bunnings recently took over one of our previously NZ branded local hardware stores. now I can no longer buy just 2 nuts and bolts for a specific job out of a row of bins with various sized hardware, but have to buy plasticised packets of 50 or more, at 100x times the cost, and also have to "hope" that I am picking the right metric size, instead of being able to take my job along - maybe - and try all available sizes to ensure that I buy the right size.

Stuff 'em.

Pontius Navigator
7th Feb 2018, 09:06
Only just heard of this. Looked as the logo. A nod to Home base but a big big disc over the B, looks like a D!

chevvron
7th Feb 2018, 09:51
Local Homebase to us (Brookwood near Woking) is still Homebase less the Argos Store section they added less than 12 months before Homebase were sold; Argos simply moved next door into Sainsburys, the two stores being side by side because originally, Homebase was the DIY arm of Sainsburys.
Apart from an increase in the range of products and not accepting Nectar cards any more, the new Homebase is identical to the old one.

BusyB
7th Feb 2018, 17:25
For most items B & Q much more expensive than Screwfix.

SpringHeeledJack
7th Feb 2018, 18:52
For most items B & Q much more expensive than Screwfix.

True dat! However, one is a DIY 'amateur' business and the other for professionals, although to be fair both are used by both types of customers. Screwfix stores are basically a warehouse with a trade counter, so save massively on staff and schnick-schnack.

Cpt_Pugwash
8th Feb 2018, 00:16
I think that Screwfix are owned by Kingfisher, which just happens to own B&Q.

Pontius Navigator
8th Feb 2018, 08:43
Bunnings recently took over one of our previously NZ branded local hardware stores. now I can no longer buy just 2 nuts and bolts for a specific job out of a row of bins with various sized hardware, but have to buy plasticised packets of 50 or more, at 100x times the cost, and also have to "hope" that I am picking the right metric size, instead of being able to take my job along - maybe - and try all available sizes to ensure that I buy the right size.

Stuff 'em.

Indeed, our local hardware you buy a nail. One day, we had a burst pump. Jumped in car, ran into shop, "need a screw cap to fix z burst". Owner stopped serving, found the bit, I shot out, fixed the flood, and returnees later to pay.

Different shop, few years earlier, son in law goes in, selects lots of packets etc. Arkwright then asks what he is going to do. Curtain rails.
Arkwright takes all the packets off him, comes back with 4 screws, 4 plugs and length of wood.

treadigraph
8th Feb 2018, 09:00
My local DIY gives B&Q a run for their money price-wise - they can't compete or supply everything, but unless I know they don't stock it, I always start there - if they haven't got it the one down the road might.

Used to be a wonderful hardware/haberdashers/bit of everything shop in Croydon called Turtles... sorely missed. The gnarled old magicians in the hardware section could identify a screw or bolt thread and size at 500yds in failing light and immediately find you a match - remarkable.

krismiler
8th Feb 2018, 10:29
In Australia, Bunnings employ some really knowledgeable old men in the aisles who are always ready with advice regarding any project you are undertaking. This is an area where the mega stores used to really fall behind the small specialist outlet. There may be thirty different kinds of glue available at discount prices but it wasn’t much use if you didn’t know which type to use.

I16
8th Feb 2018, 10:45
In Australia, Bunnings employ some really knowledgeable old men in the aisles who are always ready with advice regarding any project you are undertaking. This is an area where the mega stores used to really fall behind the small specialist outlet. There may be thirty different kinds of glue available at discount prices but it wasn’t much use if you didn’t know which type to use.

Have to agree that this type of service is priceless for new handytypes.
Went to a Master's store in Sunbury Vic and asked this lovely lady about fencing wire for keeping dogs in - she told me the exact type for larger dogs and post spacing etc. Knowing that the ground was like best spec concrete she sourced from her notebook a fencer with a post hole digger and rammer.
The next week all done and dogs super happy.
Shame Master's have closed but what great service!

chevvron
8th Feb 2018, 11:03
Used to be a wonderful hardware/haberdashers/bit of everything shop in Croydon called Turtles... sorely missed. The gnarled old magicians in the hardware section could identify a screw or bolt thread and size at 500yds in failing light and immediately find you a match - remarkable.

Used to be a really useful shop called 'Lightwater Hardware' near me similar to Turtles. Got taken over and became 'Surrey Hardware'.
Within 6 months they had closed and the site was sold to the company which develops Tesco stores. No sooner had they demolished the old building than Tesco ran into financial difficulties (prior to the 'equal pay' thing which has just happened) and the site has now been derelict for over 2 years with no work done, fenced off, weeds growing etc.
Daft thing was, when Tesco bought the site, there was a Budgens about 200 yards away (which has since become a Co-op) and I understand Tesco are part owners of Budgens, so they would have been competing with each other! (Unless of course, they had plans to re-develop the Budgens store site too!)

treadigraph
8th Feb 2018, 11:10
Damn, that would have been really useful Chevvron, I'm spending a fair bit of time each month sorting things out at my aunt's place in Lightwater and having a local hardware shop would have be a boon!

cattletruck
8th Feb 2018, 11:29
They don't sell aluminium screws.

Most of the hardware they sell is cheap inferior Chinese crap with a high markup - even if it appears to be cheaply priced.

I only like their paint section because they stock two reputable brands at reasonable prices (quality paint is expensive).

chevvron
8th Feb 2018, 16:21
Damn, that would have been really useful Chevvron, I'm spending a fair bit of time each month sorting things out at my aunt's place in Lightwater and having a local hardware shop would have be a boon!
It was useful as has been said of other places because you could buy undividual nuts/bolts/screws or small packets as well as larger quantities plus all sorts of other things like small dowels, stripwood etc. When it closed, Budgens started selling a few items but then they closed too and the Co-op only sells things like light bulbs.
Now I have to go to Homebase at Brookwood or Wickes at St Johns, the closest B & Q being Farnborough 10 miles away.

cargosales
8th Feb 2018, 17:00
We're lucky in that there is (still) a brilliant place here run by 'Arkwright' which sells nuts, bolts, washers and much, much more, individually or by the packet if that works out cheaper. He saved me about £30 on the metalwork alone for a swing set, once I'd explained what I was intending to do and he 'adjusted' my list of required parts.

B&Q - don't make me laugh.. Our local Decorators Merchants sells quality paint - Dulux Trade - for half of what the B&Q a mile up the road do it for... Plus, yes, B&Q used to have knowledgeable professionals manning each aisle and able to advise on things but that was 20 years ago and is no more, so it's yet another reason not to go there..

Ahh, Turtle's .. the memories are still good :-)

dsc810
8th Feb 2018, 17:20
Meanwhile in my neck of the wood my local decorators specialist shops sells it for much MORE than the likes of B&Q and Homebase.
I guess they figure the trade is not going to B&Q so they can mark up the prices as it will just get passed on to the customer - while the DIY mob will be more cost conscious.
For Dulux standard range paint colours stocked off the shelf (ie not mixed to a specific palette) Homebase locally is the cheapest.
I must try the dulux decorators centre sometime though that is a fair way off to see how much more they reckon they can get away with on price markup....

G-CPTN
8th Feb 2018, 17:43
Not specific to DIY items, but I have found that 'trade outlets' that allow the general public to participate have uncompetitive prices - presumably as genuine trade customers claim a discount . . .

Fareastdriver
8th Feb 2018, 18:57
A few years ago I went into Homebase with the wife to choose a build in shower assembly; the type that sticks out of the wall with flush temperature and volume handles. We saw one on a display which filled the bill at £199.

I asked the assistant to get me one as there were none around and she said that they would have to order it and it could take up to six weeks.

I flagged the same thing up on fleabay. Two days later it arrived at the door for £89..

ORAC
25th May 2018, 07:24
Bunnings pulls out of Britain after $1bn disaster

The Australian hardware chain Bunnings has pulled the plug on its disastrous $1bn venture into Britain, drawing an ignominious close to one of the worst retail acquisitions ever seen.

After burning through hundreds of millions of dollars trying to sell the all-conquering sandpaper-meets-sausage-sizzle formula to DIY-crazy Britons, Bunnings’ parent group, Wesfarmers, said on Friday that it was offloading the 200-plus chain of former Homebase stores for a reported £1 nominal fee.

The business cost Wesfarmers $705m (£340m) in 2016 but customers – especially women who liked the range of soft furnishings found in the old Homebase stores – never took to Bunnings’ no-nonsense warehouse-style stores.

Losses quickly mounted and the writing was on the wall when Wesfarmers was forced take a $1bn writedown on the investment earlier this year (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/05/botched-takeover-threatens-homebase-bunnings-jobs)......

Sallyann1234
25th May 2018, 09:05
That's a shame. They were a vast improvement over our local Homebase, far more useful stock.
​​​

Gertrude the Wombat
25th May 2018, 11:53
I go to B&Q. Compared to Homebase they're much more likely to have what I want, and they actually employ staff who know what their stock is and how to use it.

cattletruck
25th May 2018, 12:45
The thing we must not forget about Bunnings is it was not an overnight success in Oz. I remember regularly driving past one of their original mega-super-hyper stores in bogan country, it started off as an experiment, took some years to perfect then the concept was exponentially released closer into civilisation - that is why it was and still is a success in Oz.

However, to overwhelm another country with your "brand" rather than build it up slowly probably reflects a different group mentality caused by the changing of the guard at Wesfarmers since the good times.

Blacksheep
25th May 2018, 13:38
The Bunnings store that replaced Homebase in St.Albans has always been packed out. I've gone there many times and never came away without exactly what I went for. I suppose they could learn from the aircraft maintenance industry where having too much cash tied up in non-moving inventory is a big no-no. .

Sallyann1234
25th May 2018, 14:16
The Bunnings store that replaced Homebase in St.Albans has always been packed out. I've gone there many times and never came away without exactly what I went for. I suppose they could learn from the aircraft maintenance industry where having too much cash tied up in non-moving inventory is a big no-no. .

Ditto for our nearest store. They completely refitted it with stocks of proper DIY tools and materials - lines that Homebase had virtually abandoned.

G-CPTN
25th May 2018, 14:19
Having paid £1 for the whole caboodle (including stock) you could walk into one of the stores and walk out with anything and you would be in profit.

Pontius Navigator
25th May 2018, 17:48
I suppose they could learn from the aircraft maintenance industry where having too much cash tied up in non-moving inventory is a big no-no. .
And that disaster the internet comes in, eBay especially.

I bought two glass drawer knobs from Homebase, at least they sold them singly. They came with an M4 screw. I needed a double headed screw, M4 to wood. Cost pence, cost of holding £££. The eBay seller, besides,offering a whole range of sizes, only needed one outlet so his cost of ownership would be one hundredth of less.

A better store model would be along the Argos line. However instead of a catalogue show case have 'one of' show case where you can look, touch and then order. Low cost, fast moving items could be available for immediate purchase but everything else should be on a next day, free delivery basis.

An example of the wrong model is Tools Tiles (10% discount to Defence Discount Card holders). They have aisles heaped with stock. When we chose what we wanted from what was in-store they had to order it in. If that stock was replicated across the stores think of all the waste. Same story in Carpet Right.

LowNSlow
25th May 2018, 22:54
Blacksheep, I agree with you on the St Albans emporium. Last weekend there was like being back in Brisbane with the sunshine and the local Scouts doing a burger stall.
Unfortunately it was overpriced and, for me, had a limited range.
Their website must have been the ultimate killer though because Wickes, B&Q, Screwfix etc. list ALL of their products on their respective websites. Arrogant Dunnings' (thanks AO) website basically says if you want to know what we sell get your lazy arse down to your local store and have a look. Unsurprisingly most internet savvy Brits said "shove it".

tartare
26th May 2018, 00:45
Richard Lim, the chief executive of analysis firm Retail Economics, said: “The acquisition of Homebase has been an unbelievable disaster for Wesfarmers. Their attempts to disrupt the UK DIY market have failed after a series of woeful management decisions, clumsy execution and a misguided perception of the UK market.”


"...But they speak the same language, and aside from the shite weather, surely it's just like Oz but three times the number of customers...!"
And thus another large Australian company learns that it simply cannot walk into the UK - without having a fundamental and deep appreciation of how utterly different British society is on so many levels - and why that matters to your business.
Having had the insight of working very closely with one of the Directors of Wesfarmers three years ago, am not even remotely surprised that they just thought they were so damn flash they could walk right in and go head to head with established players.
Now, lets see who ends up carrying the can for this right cock-up...

VP959
26th May 2018, 10:06
The main problem with Homebase in my experience (Salisbury has Homebase, B&Q/Screwfix and Wickes stores all within a few hundred yards of each other) is that it was neither fish nor fowl. The DIY sheds, like B&Q/Screwfix and Wickes, beat them hands down on quality and price for DIY materials, and the big furnishing stores, like Dunelm, Dreams etc (also very close to Homebase here) beat them hands down on budget home furnishings. Homebase was invariably over-priced, compared to the local competition here, and with no defined market segment.

The really bizarre thing locally is the different pricing for identical items from B&Q and Screwfix, who are the same company, selling many of the same product lines, but with radically different pricing. When you have Screwfix just a hundred yards or so away from B&Q it's pretty easy to spot the price differentials for the same items.

Gertrude the Wombat
26th May 2018, 10:09
how utterly different British society is on so many levels - and why that matters to your business
I noticed this on my visits to Oz in the 1980s - walk into a shop, and the staff would quickly dive out the back so as not to have to do any actual work like actually talking to an actual customer. Sure British society was like this too ... but in the 1960s, not the 1980s.

Are Oz standards of customer service still the same as the British ones but following twenty years behind, or are there other fundamental differences now?

Sallyann1234
26th May 2018, 10:12
But those two have different markets.
If you know precisely what you want, find it in the Screwfix website, buy it there and pop down to collect it.
If you'd like to compare two or three similar products, go to B&Q and see them side by side.
I do both.

VP959
26th May 2018, 10:32
But those two have different markets.
If you know precisely what you want, find it in the Screwfix website, buy it there and pop down to collect it.
If you'd like to compare two or three similar products, go to B&Q and see them side by side.
I do both.

Or go into B&Q to compare items then nip up the road to Screwfix to buy them, often with a significant cost saving. It helps if you can spot that the same item may have a different label, too, especially with power tools. Both sell the same (Chinese-made, I believe) power tools with different branding and case colours, MacAllister in B&Q and Titan in Screwfix.

Sallyann1234
26th May 2018, 10:41
Or go into B&Q to compare items then nip up the road to Screwfix to buy them, often with a significant cost saving. It helps if you can spot that the same item may have a different label, too, especially with power tools. Both sell the same (Chinese-made, I believe) power tools with different branding and case colours, MacAllister in B&Q and Titan in Screwfix.
If you have time to spare.
I'll stick to DeWalt power tools. Always worked for me.

tartare
26th May 2018, 11:07
Not so much the standards of service Gertrude - in general I think they're pretty good in Oz.
I think Australian businesses just don't understand the tribal loyalty and conservatism of many (not all) British consumers, and how long and how much $$$ it takes to establish a brand.
Big Ozzie companies are used to working in a market dominated by duopolies and being able to completely screw the consumer because of the lack of competition.
Invariably if they're looking to acquire an established UK business, they get utterly fleeced by vendors because they don't understand all of the above.
My sense is they arrive in a large, brutally competitive British market, are overwhelmed by the complexity, and just start haemorrhaging cash.
Blind Freddy could have told the Wesfarmers board that Homebase wasn't a `fit' for Bunnings - the market segment, the brand and the customer base was too soft-furnishing, DIY-lite.
Just my two cents worth.
Agree Sallyann - got a Dewalt cordless powerdrill - love it.
Next best thing to a hand cannon... ;)

Gertrude the Wombat
26th May 2018, 11:27
I think Australian businesses just don't understand the tribal loyalty and conservatism of many (not all) British consumers, and how long and how much $$$ it takes to establish a brand.
Well, if you try various suppliers and find that one is noticeably less crap than the others you're going to stick with it, aren't you? - unless you're someone who "enjoys" "shopping", and researching new suppliers and discovering that they're crap all over again is your idea of "fun".

Is that different in Oz? Or are there just more of the "shopping" is "fun" brigade?

esa-aardvark
26th May 2018, 19:07
Arrived back in UK mid April. Central heating broken, not possible to fix immediately.
Never mind let's get a couple of fan heaters from Bunnings, only to be told
'its spring now, we won't stock them until winter'

Pontius Navigator
26th May 2018, 20:12
In fact Screwfix here has the retail model I was suggesting: small stock of low cost/high demand items, next day collection for high cost/low demand items. Unlike B&Q Screwfix has a counter service so no wasted aisle space for browsers or displays. It is an all together more efficient model. B&Q OTOH has a website that does not offer everything!

VP959
26th May 2018, 21:10
In fact Screwfix here has the retail model I was suggesting: small stock of low cost/high demand items, next day collection for high cost/low demand items. Unlike B&Q Screwfix has a counter service so no wasted aisle space for browsers or displays. It is an all together more efficient model. B&Q OTOH has a website that does not offer everything!

The daft thing is that both Screwfix and B&Q are the same company, just with different branding.

G-CPTN
26th May 2018, 21:12
I wanted a toby key.
The newly-opened ScrewFix in the nearby town didn't know what I was talking about - they brought out all the staff - and when I explained what it was for they then admitted that they didn't have one.
The long-established builders merchants next door knew and had just what I wanted.

G-CPTN
26th May 2018, 22:47
We do not have a Bunning store near us though we do have a Homebase that is only four years old (new retail development park).
I remember Homebase in the nearby city 'collapsing' a decade or more ago - IIRC their stock was poor quality, so it was no surprise to me at the time.
My suggestion is that Bunning should have retained the Homebase name whilst establishing their presence in the UK - or was it their hope that re-branding would persuade people that they were a 'new' experience.
The costs associated with re-branding are not insignificant - we had a Safeway that became a Morrisons shortly before closing - it is now a Waitrose.

glad rag
26th May 2018, 23:10
If you have time to spare.
I'll stick to DeWalt power tools. Always worked for me.

DeWalt, sign of breeding...

Pontius Navigator
27th May 2018, 10:36
The daft thing is that both Screwfix and B&Q are the same company, just with different branding.
VP, though B&Q do bring something extra to the party - garden stuff, design services, touch and feel, paint mixing. In our medium size store the DIY stuff such as nails, screws, plumbing bits are just a fraction of the whole.. Where I think it is wrong is it stocks a few bathroom products in a limited range.

Hydromet
27th May 2018, 10:54
Unfortunately, Bunnings here have put many smaller, better hardware stores out of business. They sell cheaper, poorer quality tools & timber which gets the handyman in, and many smaller stores could not continue, relying only on tradesmen. Many tradesmen now buy the cheap power tools and treat them as disposable.
I'm fortunate to have a good timber yard (which used to be a full hardware store) nearby, and an independent hardware store about 7 km away. It's quicker to go there than the Bunnings about 2 km away, because Bunnings refuse to adequately staff their registers, so there are always long queues.

VP959
27th May 2018, 11:01
Unfortunately, Bunnings here have put many smaller, better hardware stores out of business. They sell cheaper, poorer quality tools & timber which gets the handyman in, and many smaller stores could not continue, relying only on tradesmen. Many tradesmen now buy the cheap power tools and treat them as disposable.
I'm fortunate to have a good timber yard (which used to be a full hardware store) nearby, and an independent hardware store about 7 km away. It's quicker to go there than the Bunnings about 2 km away, because Bunnings refuse to adequately staff their registers, so there are always long queues.

The same has happened here, too. We had a very good traditional hardware store in a nearby town, together with another store that sold household items and decorating stuff. Both closed several years ago as they couldn't compete with the big DIY sheds. The annoying thing is that the DIY sheds often stock really rubbish Chinese-made hardware, brass and zinc plated steel stuff that corrodes as soon as you look at it. Luckily we still have a reasonable (but expensive) farm store nearby, that does stock proper heavy duty galvanised outdoor hardware, but they don't have a wide range of stuff in stock.