Product quality and safety initiatives


During the year, Bunnings worked with product manufacturers to implement a range of product quality and safety specifications, including for electrical and gas related products. For example, in conjunction with the Australian Gas Association, Bunnings introduced a Product Quality and Compliance Specification for the manufacture of all direct sourced LPG barbecues, outdoor heaters and cookers. This specification incorporates opportunities identified from prior product quality reviews to establish benchmarks for quality, safety and durability testing above those required by the current mandatory standards.   

Bunnings also introduced an LPG gas cylinder use safety video for the Bunnings website, which links to the gas cylinder product page. This is designed to educate customers on the hazards of using LPG cylinders and how to perform leak tests on connection before use. 


Kmart Group

Kmart Group is committed to developing high-quality, safe and compliant products that enhance customer experience and deliver commercial growth. The Kmart Group quality teams maintain a strong focus on customer safety as a top priority. The quality teams work closely with suppliers to conduct safety investigations to ensure product integrity and performance is consistent. Product safety recalls are conducted as required or as a precautionary measure to eliminate customer exposure to potentially unsafe products. 


During the 2021 financial year, the Kmart team undertook the following initiatives: 

  • enhanced its Store Audit Surveillance program to include an online product audit check to ensure online content is compliant and up to date
  • implemented a Preventative Quality Model to identify and reduce risk at early stages of its product development cycle 
  • enhanced its Button Cell Battery Policy to ensure compliance with the new requirements coming into force in June 2022. 


The Target Quality team undertook the following initiatives: 

  • improved pre-shipment inspection protocols to ensure faulty goods are discovered at the factory and remediated well before they are transported 
  • collaborated closely with product developers to ensure the delivery of high-quality products to customers 
  • compliance made easier and more efficient with the launch of a new Target online Quality Hub that is continually updated with new regulations and in-house requirements.


In November 2020, Catch became an inaugural signatory to the ACCC e-commerce Australian Product Safety Pledge. Other initiatives undertaken by the business included: 

  • enhancement of the compliance e-modules training 
  • introduction of a compliance risk rating process encompassing all suppliers and sellers on the Catch website. 



Officeworks seeks to ensure all the products sold are fit for purpose, comply with all Australian regulatory standards and are safe for customers to use and team members to sell. Providing customers with safe and high-quality products is central to maintaining a reputation as a trusted business. Product safety continues to receive focus from a variety of internal and external stakeholders and Officeworks is committed to continuous improvement. To ensure Officeworks has a targeted approach, it applies a risk profile rating to its product range and then manages the risk accordingly. Officeworks’ risk appetite for high-risk product is extremely low and resources are focused on the identified high-risk areas, for example: 

  • products that may cause serious injury such as electrical products and chairs 
  • products for children  
  • products that are subject to mandatory standards, recalls, bans or safety warnings under the Australian Consumer Law such as erasers that look like food or button sized batteries, which could be a choking hazard. 

Officeworks takes a risk-based approach to product safety with the following key pillars:

  • Right suppliers: Officeworks works collaboratively with factories that share Officeworks’ commitment to continuous quality improvement
  • Quality products: Officeworks monitors and investigates product performance, then embeds lessons learned into updating Officeworks requirements to ensure products are of the right quality
  • Compliant products: Officeworks seeks to ensure compliance of products through having robust and defensible structures
  • Procedural integrity: Officeworks applies procedures with diligence and integrity in alignment with the customer strategy.

Officeworks regularly updates its procedures and processes in response to growing business needs, an evolving regulatory landscape and new insights on customer expectations and behaviours. For example, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) identified toppling furniture as one of its product safety priority areas for the 2021 financial year. The National Retail Association has produced a best practice guide for managing the risk of toppling furniture and since its publication Officeworks worked to implement the guidelines in full. During the year, a comprehensive internal audit of the range was conducted and work to ensure all relevant units are captured correctly and warnings are applied consistently is underway. The internal audit found there is an opportunity to improve the consistency of warnings used for furniture at risk of toppling in environments with children. 

Officeworks works with its sourcing partner to complete final inspection for quality and safety and during the year, conducted more than 7,500 inspections for quality and safety, representing 100 per cent of all direct sourced products. Inspections are just one of the many tools used to proactively manage the safety of products and complement Officeworks’ stringent policies and procedures. Officeworks takes what it learns from the inspections and regularly meets with its sourcing partner to reflect on what is working well and where it can improve.


Industrial and Safety

The Industrial and Safety division is committed to providing customers with safe products by continuing to improve standards, controls and processes in high-risk product safety areas and especially own-brand products. The division works closely with suppliers to ensure product testing and quality and compliance due diligence is well embedded. A proactive approach is taken towards training and education of suppliers and risk management. Investigations on product safety and quality matters are completed in collaboration with suppliers to ensure product quality is reliable and the businesses partner with suppliers to ensure improvement initiatives are continually being implemented.  

  • Blackwoods continued the development and implementation of its quality and compliance cloud-based digital solution. A new national and international brand supplier self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) was launched in March 2021, allowing the business to desktop-assess suppliers’ compliance capability across a range of operational and reputational risk areas. The SAQ will provide data on supplier performance and any non-compliance management to demonstrate diligence against Blackwoods’ policies, contractual obligations and customer expectations. 
  • Coregas, NZ Safety Blackwoods and Workwear Group again maintained zero own-brand recalls, supported by critical paths within the sourcing and new product development workflow for factory and product compliance. Blackwoods has identified improvement initiatives driven from product feedback, which has been incorporated into factory quality inspection and testing regimes to further strengthen assurance and quality of goods. 
  • Blackwoods, Coregas, Greencap and Workwear Group continued their independent ISO 9001 Quality Management System accreditation. 
  • Coregas maintained A1 ratings with the Therapeutic Goods Administration for medical gas filling sites. Coregas also remains involved in the Australia New Zealand Industrial Gas Association product stewardship and medical gas working groups.


 GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103-3, GRI 416-1, GRI 417-1, GRI 413-2