30/09/2021 - 16:00

Bunnings given all-clear for tiles deal

30/09/2021 - 16:00

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Australia’s competition watchdog will not oppose Bunnings’ acquisition of specialist tile retailer Beaumont Tiles.

Bunnings is set to acquire Adelaide-based retailer Beaumont Tiles. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Australia’s competition watchdog will not oppose Bunnings’ acquisition of specialist tile retailer Beaumont Tiles.

Today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the acquisition was not likely to substantially lessen competition, since Wesfarmers-owned Bunnings was not a strong competitor in tile sales.

The ACCC found specialist tile retailers competed much closely with each other than with Bunnings.

However, the commission’s chairman, Rod Sims, stressed the decision was based on specific circumstances and shouldn’t indicate there would be a similar conclusion for other acquisitions.

“The way in which Bunnings is competitively constrained by specialised retailers, and the potential impact on customers and manufacturers, varies depending on the product and market circumstances,” he said.

“Any future expansion by Bunnings into more specialist retailing categories through acquisition of existing competitors will be very carefully considered by the ACCC.”

Mr Sims said specialist tile retailers had a more extensive range than Bunnings, as well as specialist staff to assist customers and refer them to tilers.

He noted specialists had stronger relationships with builders and typically delivered tiles directly to work sites, whereas Bunnings sold small volumes in store for ‘DIY’ customers, tilers and other trades people working on minor tasks.

“There is little doubt that the proposed acquisition will allow Bunnings to compete strongly with specialist tile retailers, particularly in supplying larger builders who Bunnings has struggled to attract to date,” Mr Sims added.

“Stronger competition may pose challenges for some tile retailers, but it is unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in this market.”

Beaumont Tiles has more than 110 stores across the eastern states and sells tiles, tiling ancillaries (including glues, grouts, and sealers) and bathroomware.

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