Bunnings in $135m Perth expansion
New growth for Bunnings. Picture: Gerald Moscarda

Bunnings will unveil plans today for a $135 million expansion across Perth as its battle with fellow hardware giant Masters heats up.

The Wesfarmers' retailer will take on the Woolworths-owned franchise with a new warehouse in Armadale to open today 1km from a Masters store.

The trend will be repeated in Joondalup, where the rivals are racing to open first on neighbouring land, and in Ellenbrook, where Masters will compete with a new Bunnings warehouse less than 2km up the road.

A new Bunnings Clarkson store will also be announced today and managing director John Gillam said the expansion would create 280 permanent jobs across its three new stores and 800 during construction.

Mr Gillam, who is in Perth for the opening, played down rivalry with Masters, which opened its first WA store in February.

"We've always been very conscious that people have a choice," he said. "Whoever we're competing with, we have a strong eye on all of them."

Armadale will be the first Bunnings store in WA to stock its full range, such as kitchens and carpets, because of deregulated trading hours.

"It's a huge thing for WA because the Bunning family and the Bunnings business has been a real WA success story," Mr Gillam said. "For West Aussies like myself, it's always been really weird that the business is so much more to everyone else in Australia than what we are here."

But because the new store stocks the full range, it is classified as retail, not hardware, which means it is restricted to 11am-5pm on Sundays when its other stores can open longer.

Bunnings would wait for the "next wave of deregulation" to remove "anachronisms" before it introduced its full range in other stores, Mr Gillam said.

Masters has opened four stores in WA this year and a spokesman said it had an "ambitious plan to roll out stores across the country".

"Each Masters store has about 130 staff so, with our four stores already open, we have more than 500 staff in WA," he said.

"Up to now there has been one dominant player in the big box hardware market. Joondalup's Masters store will bring new competition to the northern suburbs but ultimately it is up to customers to choose where they shop and it is up to all retailers to provide quality, range and value."

The West Australian

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