The newest competitor to the local hardware industry has opened its doors in Queensland.
The new Wooloworths-owned chain of mega-stores called Masters is hoping to tap into the $42-billion hardware trade.
Zac Street reports.
Doors were open for business as customers passed through the new Masters hardware store at Tingalpa.
At 12,000 square metres, the store employs 150 staff and offers everything from house and garden supplies to kitchen designs and whitegoods.
Steven James Store Manager, Masters Tingalpa: “The big points of difference I guess are the polished floors, the brighter lighting but more than that it’s the service piece that we offer.”
Masters is set to take on the Coles-owned Bunnings as well as smaller chains and independent operators.
Some are worried about the impact it will have on their business.
Paul Mengotti, Owner Newmarket Hardware: “We expect to see people flock to these places to check them out to see what they’re like. And they’ll obviously spend money there, so it will have a negative effect.”
He says business is already slow.
Paul Mengotti, Owner Newmarket Hardware: “Generally we’re in a very quiet period. The building industry’s really geared down, the renovation industry’s geared right down.”
Although the expanding range of hardware outlets has sparked renewed interest in DIY and home renovation, industry experts say it’ll take more than a coat of paint to restore confidence in the building sector.
A survey from Master Builders Association Australia says expected profits and activity are at their weakest levels since 2008.
But it’s not all bad news.
Paul Bidwell, Master Builders Queensland: “We think housing will improve in the third quarter after Christmas, commercial is as dead as a door nail and will be for at least the next 12 months.”
Masters will launch four stores across Queensland by the end of next week.
Zac Street, QUT News.