Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bunnings DIY store opening causes Aussie sizzle

Bunnings in St Albans
Image caption Australian DIY store Bunnings opened its first UK site in a slightly overcast St Albans

The opening of a DIY shop in Hertfordshire has been making headlines 9,000 miles away in Australia.

The first Bunnings Warehouse, said to be an Aussie institution famed for its outdoor "sausage sizzle" events, opened in St Albans earlier.

The store's UK debut has been widely reported by the Australian media, with News Corp asking: "Do Poms love a sausage sizzle?"

Last year Bunnings' owner Wesfarmers bought the entire Homebase brand.

'Better places to dine'

It eventually plans to rebrand all 265 as Bunnings stores within five years.

Sausages, usually served with onions and encased in slices of white bread - are grilled outside stores Down Under on barbecues by local charity fundraisers.

A Bunnings spokeswoman said they would be cooked the same way during cold, February weekends - albeit under a canopy.

Image copyright Wesfarmers
Image caption There are 240 Bunnings warehouses in Australia, parent company Wesfarmers said

The opening of the shop has caused a stir on social media, with some Aussie ex-pats talking about travelling long distances to reacquaint themselves with the shopping experience.

One Twitter user wrote: "Say goodbye to your weekends suckers".

"Looking forward to seeing the Bunnings (veggie) sausage sizzle trend take up in the UK," tweeted another.

But St Albans resident Nikki Morrison said: "I'm more interested in their paint range, I have sausages at home.

"I'm not sure what all the fuss is about - but I am sure the teenagers will love it. I doubt if anybody else cares.

"I would like to think there are better places to dine out in St Albans."

'An Aussie institution' - Usman Azad, BBC Three Counties reporter (and Australian expat)

Image copyright Twitter/@ClaireeBear95

Every Australian will know the smell of a sausage sizzle (also known as a snag) when they arrive at their local Bunnings store.

The business has become an institution, not only because of the joy of a sausage in bread, but the enthusiasm among many Australians for a do-it-yourself project.

The Bunnings brand is a welcome reminder of life down under for the thousands of Aussies living in the UK.

I've already seen some musings among Aussies on social media about them making a pilgrimage to St Albans.

There are plans to open four pilot locations in UK by June, with 10 stores set to be created by the end of the year.

St Albans will also become home to the company's second UK store in April, Bunnings' managing director said.

The new shop has a cafe and indoor children's playground, and stocks 30,000 different home and garden lines.

Related Topics

More on this story