ONE of the most highly anticipated builds in Ballarat this year is about to open its doors. Bunnings in Delacombe is expected to be operational from next week.
The Courier had a sneak peek inside the warehouse, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest Bunnings in Australia at 17, 315 square metres.
Walk around a little of the new Bunnings with us in the video below.
More than 200 team members, including support from other stores, and suppliers have been fitting out the store for almost three weeks.
Extra floor space allows a chance to showcase constructed sheds and chook-runs the team was confident would fit the growing semi-rural lifestyle in the city's west.
At the heart of the Delacombe warehouse is a new concept trial with an all-in-one tool shop paired with power gardening, the latter has usually been confined to a nearby aisle. The aim is for better access to dedicated power tool experts.
A six-lane drive-in trade centre, featuring 24 car parks, is made for easier access to timber and hardware. This opens into the bulk trade yard, which is relocating from the store's Mitchell Park site.
The Delacombe warehouse will employ about 140 staff from diverse backgrounds, aged from after school workers to semi-retirees. About 80 staff have been newly recruited with 60 relocating from other Bunnings.
Delacombe Bunnings complex manager Justin Catley has been with the company for 15 years, first working in the original Wendouree store (now Super Amart) before moving to Creswick Road. He has been back in retail the past four years and said this was an incredibly exciting time for Ballarat.
"I am so proud of the effort that's gone into training and getting the store ready, " Mr Catley said. "They've gone over and above and really gel together as a team."
Bunnings will release details for its grand opening soon.
The second stage of the Bunnings car park is set to open in November and, once complete, will take the tally to 400 car parks.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.