Bunnings has proved once again that it is going strong and it won’t be backing down from any competition, including the entrance of Woolworths into the hardware market, with the unveiling of its $53 million multi-level Chatswood warehouse.

It will be the first of eight multi-level stores being rolled out across the country.

The Bunnings Warehouse Chatswood is the second multi-level warehouse in Australia and the first in New South Wales.

Bunnings chief operating officer Peter Davis said the multi-level stores will showcase the warehouse’s offering, including new categories such as kitchen appliances and glass pool fencing and expanded ranges in landscaping and kid’s play equipment.

“The flexibility of the multi-level format ensures that more urban customers have access to the full warehouse range in convenient locations at the lowest prices,” he said.

The opening of the Chatswood Warehouse forms part of Bunnings’ almost two decade long network expansion plan that targets 16 to 26 new locations per annum. This includes a $600 million investment in 18 metro and regional sites in New South Wales over the next three years which was announced at the Alexandria site in September 2010. It also includes a $385 million investment in 12 new Queensland warehouses and two new trade centres which was confirmed recently at the reopening of two flood affected stores in Brisbane.

Consistent with Bunnings’ commitment to the environment, the development of the multi-level warehouse at Chatswood has enabled Bunnings to incorporate a number of the sustainable design aspects that exist throughout the Bunnings’ network. Sustainability features include a 30,000 litre underground rainwater tank, solar hot water system, skylights above every aisle and energy efficient in-store lighting which automatically dims when there is maximum natural daylight in store.

The store represents an investment of more than $50 million and will create 290 jobs in the local community.