Officeworks Acquires ‘Significant’ Stake in WBGS, Plans for National Expansion

Power Retail By Power Retail | 09 Feb 2022

After a three year partnership with social enterprise, World’s Biggest Garage Sale, Officeworks is taking its relationship to the next level.

World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) is an enterprise that focuses on building a circular economy, driving positive change and closing the loop of imperfect and unwanted products. Products include home office desks, chairs, palett furniture and office fit-outs. At the time of writing, WBGS has diverted four million kilograms of potential landfill.

Officeworks entered a three-year partnership with the Brisbane-based business, which was established in 2013 and has since become a multi-million-dollar social enterprise. Following this partnership, Officeworks will acquire a 21 percent stake in the business, in an effort to drive better awareness for sustainability and as a response to changing consumer habits.

With this acquisition, Officeworks aims to expand the WBGS brand into a nationwide enterprise under a new name – Circonomy. With this expansion and the introduction of a sister brand, the business will expand its current collection and repair service beyond furniture and office supplies. Instead, WBGS (Circonomy) will implement solutions for products across the retail industry that would otherwise end up in landfills.

The team at World’s Biggest Garage Sale | via WBGS

Circonomy will become a national network of ‘economy precincts’, catering to businesses and the general public. Within these centres, Circonomy will re-sell dormant or second-hand goods, as well as provide Officeworks and other retailers the opportunity to enable a better waste management system.

“Over the last three years, we have partnered with WBGS to help us achieve our vision of contributing to a more circular economy and becoming a zero-waste business. Together we have demonstrated a feasible model to collect, repair, repurpose and resell damaged or customer returned products. We’re excited to replicate and scale this model across Australia,” said Sarah Hunter, Managing Director of Officeworks.

She explained that the investment in WBGS demonstrates the opportunities associated with a more circular economy, including social, environmental and financial. “We believe that, in time, this can be a solution that is much more widely adopted across the retail sector as a way to divert waste from landfill, extend product lifecycles, and ultimately build domestic repair and remanufacturing capability,” she said.

The partial acquisition of WBGS aims to extend the life cycle of products, and is an encouraging step for other retailers that wish to make an impact on people and the planet.

“We know that consumers want to see a more sustainable retail industry, including the reuse and repair of everyday products, rather than their disposal into the waste stream. Our partnership with Officeworks will allow us to broaden our service offering both geographically and in the products we can repair, and will provide a model for other businesses to follow our lead,” said Yasmin Grigaliunas, the CEO and Founder of WBGS.

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