Peppa Pig and PAW Patrol are coming to new Bunnings Warehouse store in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 12:30 04 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:44 04 February 2017

Kyran Bracken at the new Bunnings store in St Albans. Photo courtesy Twitter/@KyranBracken

Kyran Bracken at the new Bunnings store in St Albans. Photo courtesy Twitter/@KyranBracken

Twitter/@KyranBracken

Australians must think that Brits are silly sausages, as apparently we don’t know what a ‘sausage sizzle’ is.

The media spotlight was firmly upon the historic city of St Albans last Thursday, when Australia’s largest hardware chain expanded from Down Under, and officially opened its first warehouse store in the UK.

Employing 68 people – almost double the workforce of the previous Homebase store in Griffiths Way – the Bunnings Warehouse store stocks more than 30,000 different home improvement and garden lines.

Bunnings brought in former England Rugby Union scrum-half Kyran Bracken, now a first team coach at St Albans School, Abbey Gateway, to help officially open the premises.

But in the southern hemisphere, no one appeared to give a hoot that a member of the England squad, which won the World Cup in 2003, was helping to launch the pilot 67,000 sq ft store.

England rugby union legend Kyran Bracken joined the opening ceremony celebrations at St AlbansEngland rugby union legend Kyran Bracken joined the opening ceremony celebrations at St Albans

Instead, news.com.au announced ‘exciting news for sausage fans’ as Bunnings opened its first UK store with a sausage sizzle.

For those not in the know, Down Under, Bunnings is as famous for its sausage sizzles – basically fundraising barbecues – as the chain is for its myriad products

Today (Saturday) for example, Bunnings Warehouse in St Albans is fundraising for How Wood School, as the retailer has a long history of working in local communities across Australia and New Zealand, stretching over 25 years.

News.com.au writer Frank Chung asked: “Do Poms love a sausage sizzle? That’s the question on everyone’s tomato sauce stained lips as the first Bunnings Warehouse store in the UK opens its doors in St Albans.”

News.com.au journalist Benedict Brook voiced his concern, saying: “no one in the UK knows what a sausage sizzle is. Putting a sausage in between two slices of white bread? A more British thing to do would be a chip butty – hot chips in bread.”

PEPPA PIG

There will be no such concern, or need of explanation, however, as Bunnings is to bring well-loved, and popular kids’ TV character Peppa Pig to St Albans.

The store’s opening festivities will continue throughout the following two weekends in February, with a range of activities for families including Peppa Pig and PAW Patrol character meet and greets, a variety of in-store family fun and supplier demonstrations, including an appearance from the Dulux Dog.

On Saturday, February 11, Peppa Pig and George will visit St Albans during story time sessions. The day includes a balloon modeller, candy floss, popcorn, sweets, face-painters and other activities to amuse young visitors.

When the Herts Advertiser toured the large store on its opening day, features included an indoor children’s playground, a café, timber cutting service and an impressive array of barbecues – for those who want to continue the sausage sizzle experience at home.

In January last year, the Home Retail Group announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell Homebase to Bunnings, a subsidiary of Wesfarmers Ltd, for £340 million.

• A third of team members at St Albans are aged over 50, and include former plumbers, painters, electricians and landscape gardeners, as well as other tradespeople.

• The store also has a 19,000 sq ft garden centre, and a dedicated DIY workshop area, where the whole family can learn skills from wallpaper hanging to tile cutting.

• A second Bunnings Warehouse store in Hatfield Road, St Albans, will open in April.


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