Bye bye Bunnings

The theory is that the Melbourne CBD is booming. Retail activity is through the roof, not just on weekdays but also evenings and weekends. Certainly from my point of view as a CBD worker-bee and occasional weekend visitor, it seems like much of the CBD is bustling for most of the time, no doubt helped by developments at Melbourne Central (yah boo hiss), QV, Fed Square and elsewhere.

It’s not necessarily the big stores pulling in the people, but an explosion in the number of small, specialist shops, as well as restaurants and bars that help keep the masses around after dark.

But it’s not all success stories. The Bunnings in Bourke Street is closing down. Now, I’m sure hardware isn’t a huge business in the CBD, it’s probably mostly a weekend thing. But damn it’s handy to have somewhere like this close to work. Maybe some people don’t think of it, but I’ve certainly wandered in there at lunchtime to get a key cut, or pick some other semi-obscure hardware thing — last time it was fluorescent tubes. Mind you I got the wrong type the first time I tried.

My spies tell me they’re being kicked out and are looking for another city site, so hopefully they find something soon. Otherwise, where else will I be able to go to buy the wrong stuff at lunchtime?

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “Bye bye Bunnings”

I also lament Bunnings eviction. Whilst the store wasn’t as big as the suburban branches and getting larger items away from the store presented difficulties, having most hardware available in the city at insane-cheap-prices was a boon, compared to a substantal round trip in the ‘burbs.

Bunning’s lease runs out in 2006. They are currently paying $2 million a year for the lease. Bunnings, and McEwans before them, have been there for about 36 years and the building was built circa 1915

Very sad indeed. Where will I get the odd screw in the city? What a glorious place McEwans was with several floors of hardware. I hope the celeb hand prints are preserved and we will see them elsewhere.

Agreed – most inconvenient.

Hardware stores, and specifically places like Bunnings, are an example of the donut effect at work -nothing much within 10km of the CBD. The other day I went past a former big hardware store in Centre Rd Bentleigh – closed down some years ago and still empty.

Like drive-ins they were pushed out by high land prices or rents – a practical example of Yr11 von Thunens theory at work.

Where will all the inner-city trendy terrace renovators go now? Especially in 2015 when all those swank Docklands and Southbank towers will start to look uncool and unchic?

The real reason Bunnings is being kicked out of the Melbourne CBD is that they’re WA-owned. Obvious really :)

well i’d like to say that i am a proud employee of the cafe in bunnings epping victoria and the news of bunnings closing down in the city was very upsetting. eventhough i only work in the cafe i feel as though im part of the team and id hat e it to happen to me… anyway good luck to all the employees!!!

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