Bunnings has appointed Australian retailer Officeworks’ chief operating officer David Haydon as trading and commercial director for Homebase.

Bunnings, whose parent company Wesfarmers acquired Homebase in February 2016, has charged Haydon with running the Homebase business while its new owner continues to open pilot Bunnings stores in the UK. 

Officeworks is also owned by Wesfarmers, where Haydon was chief operating officer for over four years.

Prior to Officeworks Haydon held senior roles at Wickes, B&Q and Kingfisher, where he was international commercial director.

Haydon will take the helm of Homebase at the end of June, reporting into Bunnings UK managing director PJ Davis. He will also sit on the company’s steering committee.

Davis said: “It has been an exciting start to 2017 as we continue to deliver phase one of our strategy.

“As the pilot activity accelerates, it is still important that we remain focused on delivering a strong performance across Homebase and I’m delighted David has agreed to take up this important role with the business. He will be a great addition to the team.”

Haydon said: “I’m looking forward to joining the team at this exciting time.

“Working together to create something special in what is the dynamic UK home improvement market will be a both a challenge, and a great deal of fun.”

Homebase sales

Homebase sales, which reached £245m in the 12 weeks to March 26, have been impacted by the process of clearing old ranges and introducing Bunnings’ “always low prices” proposition.

In its maiden half year to December 31, Bunnings made a pre-tax loss of £28m in the UK and sales of £612m. Restructuring costs accounted for £13m of its pre-tax loss.

Bunnings’ UK debut

Bunnings commenced its assault on the UK DIY scene by converting some of the 265 Homebase stores it acquired. 

Bunnings UK MD PJ Davis at the first UK store

The business’s first two UK Bunnings stores were converted from two Homebase units in St Albans and its next two stores, due to open in Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes by June, are also transformations of former Homebase sites.

However, for its fifth UK store, the DIY giant will shutter the Homebase in Folkestone in July and move to a new site, previously occupied by its biggest UK rival B&Q.