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Milan Direct launches online alternative to Bunnings

Online furniture retailer, Milan Direct, has moved into the home renovation market with the launch of a new website MD Finishings, targeting the DIY renovator.

The site, which launched softly late last year, has close to 2000 products for the bathroom, laundry, kitchen, walls and doors, lighting, outdoor and general DIY.

“With Milan Direct we have seen great success selling furniture online, so the next step for us was the home renovation market, which we thought really fits well into our business model,” Milan Direct, founder Dean Ramler told Internet Retailing

“We saw there was a gap in the market and no one was really providing a good offering online selling finishing products like taps, sinks, shelving, wallpaper and those kinds of products.”

Milan Direct reached out to its suppliers, who were able to introduce them to new brands to position MD Finishings as an alternative to Bunnings, Ramler said.

“Most people are at work Monday to Friday and then have to drive into a Bunnings on the weekend to look for the product. Being an online retailer the majority of our sales happen during the day when people are at work and getting paid to shop. So we thought if people are buying furniture online, why not offer the finishing product.”

MD Finishings is the first new offering from Milan Direct since they were acquired by the Temple and Webster Group in late 2015.

Entry into the new product category fit into Milan Direct’s existing infrastructure and Ramler believes revenue growth will be driven by how quickly SKUs can be added to the site. MD Finishings aims to stock 10,000 products on the site by the end of the financial year.

“The same thing happened at Milan Direct, the better the offering the greater the revenue is going to be,” Ramler said.

“We actually thought it [finishings] would work better than furniture because typically with furniture, there are still enough customers that want to touch and feel a product before they purchase… which has been a challenge for selling furniture online. But for finishings if you are selling someone a sink or a tap they definitely don’t need to touch and feel that product. Those products are based on brand and price point.”

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