Economy

Retail entrepreneur Brett Blundy picks up a bulk goods bargain

SmartCompany /

Brett Blundy – founder of the retail chains Sanity, Macro Wholefoods, Bras N Things and Diva – has defied the downturn in retail spending to pick up a bulky goods shopping centre in Newcastle for $61.5 million.

Brett Blundy – founder of the retail chains Sanity, Macro Wholefoods, Bras N Things and Diva – has defied the downturn in retail spending to pick up a bulky goods shopping centre in Newcastle for $61.5 million.

The 5.3 hectare Kotara Homeworks site includes 29,000 square metres of retail space and is anchored by big retailers such as Bunnings, JB H-Fi and whitegoods chain The Good Guys.

Blundy’s investment vehicle, BB Retail Capital, now controls four bulky goods sites in the Newcastle area. It is also building a homemaker centre at Mittagong in NSW’s Southern Highlands area and owns a 41,000 square metre centre in Cranbourne in Victoria.

Blundy, who was valued at $316 million on this year’s BRW Rich 200, has been keeping a low profile in the last few years since privatising Brazin, the listed company which owned Sanity and Bras N Things, in January 2007.

The privatisation came about because Blundy was unhappy with what he saw as the market’s refusal to appreciate the value of Brazin’s assets. So he spent $90 million to buy the 37% of the company he didn’t own and tipped the chains into BB Retail Capital.

Blundy may have more opportunities to pick up bulky goods bargains in the coming months as stretched investors are forced to sell up. Earlier this week, GPT Group announced plans to sell about $400 million worth of bulk goods centres in order to pay down debt.

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