By NZHJ February 02, 2017 Industry news

Across the ditch, while the “other” corporate home improvement player folds, the independents have been afforded what some consider to be a vital, possibly last gasp, lifeline…

Masters sell down brings better than expected revenue

Sunday 11 December marked the final closure of all the Masters stores.

Some 1650 staff were offered redeployment and Woolworths appears to have gone to some lengths to otherwise aid their search for alternative employment.

The store closures followed a sell down of all inventory, which resulted in a total value at retail of around AU$1.2 billion through GA Australia, GA having promised a recovery of $500 million.

That works out to more than 90 Cents in the Dollar at cost price, which will have been a welcome positive as Woolworths signed off on its failed home improvement venture.


Metcash renames home improvement pillar

Metcash, since October 2016 the proud owners of Home Timber & Hardware (HTH), Woolworths’ other DIY pillar, proceeded to report a fairly positive first half to FY2017 at the end of November.

Thanks to cost efficiencies, the Metcash home improvement arm’s H1 hardware EBIT was +7.8% from total sales of AU$581.6million or +9.6%, including AU$51.5 million from three weeks’ trading with HTH.

Mitre 10’s H1 wholesale like-for-like sales were +1.7% due to a solid performance from its trade business.

Looking to the next period, Metcash expects HTH to add around AU$10 million excluding integration costs to its H2 home improvement EBIT.

Metcash’s home improvement arm is now a AU$2 billion business, by the way and, since November, work has been going on to brings its various support strands under a single banner called Independent Hardware Group.

It’s reported the expectation is that synergies from the merged operation are expected to reach AU$15-20 million by the end of 2018.

Worth AU$2 billion, says Metcash, Independent Hardware Group has set up a dedicated integration team working to make the most of these synergies

It’s worth repeating how many banners are involved here, including Mitre 10 and True Value Hardware (together some 370+ members), Thrifty-Link Hardware, Hardings, Hudson Building Supplies and Home Timber & Hardware (together 380 stores) not to mention the 500+ non-branded independent stores…


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