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The pent-up demand to get back to Bunnings post-lockdown could be quantified by the line at the sausage sizzle stand on Saturday morning.

“We usually sell between 800 and 1200 sausages,” said Joe Connellan of the Moreland Rotary Club, who was running the first post-lockdown charity sizzle at the “big green shed” in Coburg on Saturday.

“Today I reckon we’ll go well above that – I said to my friend yesterday, ‘if people aren’t going out of Melbourne this weekend they’ll be going to Bunnings’.”

Alyce and Daniel from East Brunswick get their first Rotary Club sausage at the Coburg Bunnings, as Melbourne sees its first full day of retail trading after lockdown.Credit:Chris Hopkins

The smell of sizzling onion was a clear sign that Melbourne’s Saturday mornings are returning to normal. Aside from brunch, visiting Bunnings is a kind of religion in this town.

“A friend posted on Facebook [this morning] that she came here for a sausage. I said, ‘okay, that’s where we’re coming today’,” said Yvette Jones, as daughters Riley, 7, and Charley, 4, tucked into their snags.

The Jones family, Yvette, Tony and Riley, 7 and Charley, 4, have a sausage outside the Coburg Bunnings after shopping for supplies.Credit:Chris Hopkins

Ms Jones and husband Tony had purchased the wrong sized flyscreens online during lockdown and they had to wait until retail opened again to exchange them.

“So now we just bought the right size, plus we got some gutter hooks for Christmas decorations, [and] we’ve got some beautiful white roses blossoming at home so we got some Rose Shield,” Ms Jones said.

The family were enjoying the mundane pleasure of pottering around shops again including visiting a bike shop to inspect some two-wheeled gifts for the girls from Santa.

“It’s that freedom for the kids to explore and not think that it’s normal to be stuck at home and not see their friends,” Ms Jones said. “We ventured out just to Pancake Parlour last night but even that in itself was exciting.”

Amid the punters purchasing power tools and materials to fix damage incurred during Friday’s storm were plenty of millennials toting indoor plants and pet dogs (and at least one leashed cat).

May Hu and Scott Kerby travelled from their CBD home to buy plants and fertilisers – things Ms Hu said she’d rather buy in person.

“It’s kind of hard when you scroll online because you want to be able to mentally put things together – like you want to see it,” she said.

May Hu and Scott Kirby with Gerald the dog after buying a box full of indoor plants and fertilizers.Credit:Chris Hopkins

The couple said social distancing was easy inside except when strangers wanted to pat Gerald the dog.

“We went to Kmart in the city last night … it was pretty hectic,” said Ms Hu. “Everyone had masks and everyone was still very polite, but there was just a lot of people.”

Some shoppers hoped the era of click-and-collect continues despite Melbourne having finished what is likely to be its last-ever lockdown.

“I actually prefer click and collect for all the stores,” said Bridget Livesey from Strathmore Heights. “You don’t really have to walk around. You can view everything easily on the website.”

Bridget Livesey, Rohan Davies and Lulu the dog head home with their massive haul.Credit:Chris Hopkins

Mr Davies, who is a tradie and was able to come in store during lockdowns with his construction white card, said it was a big change to see the place heaving again.

“Shopping here during lockdown was amazing because there was five people in the store and then staff,” he said. “But it’s good to see everyone back – now we’re off to Kmart.”

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