Wesfarmers-owned DIY retailer Bunnings has unveiled plans to trial a new small store format, with the first due to open later this month in Bicester.

So far, the new market entrant has focused on Bunnings Warehouses, opening 12 of its big box stores around the country

This new format, measuring 36,700 sq ft, will be around a third of the size of its largest store in Milton Keynes.

It is deigned to allow the retailer, which entered the UK market when it acquired Homebase in 2016, to test and learn.

Bunnings UK and Ireland boss Peter ‘PJ’ Davis said: “We are still in phase one of our acquisition plan and trialling Bunnings pilot stores is an important part of this.

“We are testing and learning from different formats, store sizes and locations, and the success of the pilots remains an absolute precursor to any further investment.”

Bunnings has so far found the UK market challenging.

The retailer, which opened its debut UK store in St Albans in February, racked up losses of £54m in its first full year in the UK.

This included one-off transition and restructuring costs of £19m as the firm commenced the lengthy task of converting Homebase stores into its Bunnings Warehouse format.