“Our team is blown away by the creative ways the community uses our products and puts their creative spin on the design. This inspired our Kmart team to introduce a broader range of products that better support this and help amplify the communities creativity without breaking the bank,” Siri Thanissorn, Kmart Australia’s design manager, told Inside Retail.
She said the decision was also driven by market research showing strong demand for craft and home DIY projects, as well as customer feedback. It’s just the beginning of Kmart’s foray into DIY products, with more ranges planned going forward.
“We hope that Kmart can be that ‘one-stop-shop’ for all those savvy shoppers who love a DIY project, want to repair something from old-to-new or those who just want to refresh a space in their home, especially during a time when budget and the cost of living is at the top of their mind,” Thanissorn said.
“There is an array of colours, finishes and styles in this range and we hope to continue to expand on this offering.”
Kmart Australia’s move into the DIY space comes on the heels of the launch of The Build by Temple & Webster in May, an online offshoot of the furniture retailer’s main e-commerce site.
The Build stocks a comprehensive range of more than 20,000 DIY, renovation and home improvement products, including kitchen taps, toilets, floor tiles, lighting and wallpaper, and poses a serious challenge to Australia’s leading home improvement chains Bunnings and Mitre 10.
Consumer psychologist Jana Bowden said it makes sense that homewares retailers are looking to capture more of the DIY market.
“Aussies have always loved to engage in DIY but the pandemic with its shift to the new work-live-play lifestyle at home put that love of DIY on rocket boosters,” Bowden, professor of marketing at Macquarie University, told Inside Retail.
“What we are seeing now with movements between DIFM (do-it-for-me) and DIWM (do-it-with-me) is simply the continuing evolution of that, as well as the impact of the cost-of-living crisis that is now starting to bite consumers’ wallet.”
With inflation and the looming recession likely to dampen demand for big-ticket items, such as kitchen renovations, Bowden expects to see an increase in smaller DIY projects. In this context, she believes Kmart’s new range is a “no brainer”.
And given the “avid, almost cult-like” communities sharing Kmart hacks on Facebook, she predicts it will be a huge success.
“Many Kmart consumers identify deeply with the brand – it’s a part of who they are,” she noted.
“The new product range enables the brand to further tap into consumers’ lifestyles with a branded offering. That, in turn, builds brand authenticity, which is a key factor driving purchase intentions for 64 per cent of DIY consumers.”
Australia’s home improvement market is valued at $26 billion, according to IBISWorld.
Bowden said the top three categories in terms of growth are bathrooms, floor coverings and paint.