The final touches for big retail planning at Canberra Airport has finally been revealed with the addition of a 13500sqm Masters brand home improvement store stocking 35,000 products. This Woolworths-Lowe’s joint venture company will compete head to head with the new Costco venture at Canberra Airport. The ACT Chamber of Commerce says that the store wars will increase competition throughout the ACT. Shoppers will be delighted. The impacts on smaller home businesses operations haven’t been assessed because the airport is beyond the jurisdiction of the ACT government
The Canberra Times Thursday 04 August 2011
Shoppers tipped to win as retail heavyweights face off at Majura
By Eva Kretowicz
Canberrans will be the winners of the head-to-head battle between retail giants Woolworths and Costco, according to the ACT Chamber of Commerce.
Woolworths is set to build a 13500sqm home improvement store near the airport, stocking 35,000 products. The new Masters brand expansion into the capital was announced by Woolworths community relations manager Simon Berger at the site yesterday. “Masters will provide competition and offer more choice for local people who take pride in maintaining and improving their homes,” Mr Berger said.
Woolworths, together with its US joint venture partner Lowe’s Companies will compete with Westfarmers-owned Bunnings and Costco. “We are maintaining an element of surprise, but are confident Masters will raise the bar when it comes to range, value, service and shopping experience,” he said.
The new Masters store will join Woolworths, BIG W and Dick Smith at the Majura site. Masters is expected to open in the second half of 2012, following the opening of Woolworths, BIG W and Dick Smith at Easter. Mr Berger said the hardware brand would be more family friendly than other retailers. “We refer to it as home improvement not hardware so there will be some differences — you will be able to get the appliances for the kitchen as well as the things you need to renovate your kitchen,” he said.
Masters will seek to attract women. “Some hardware stores can look a bit like grandpa’s shed. Ours will be a very different shopping experience …we know for an example that a majority of home improvement decision are made by women so it certainly won’t be a store that caters for tradies to load up with tools.”
ACT Chamber of Commerce chief executive Chris Peters said the store wars would increase competition. “Costco is a major American retailer and Woolworths has chosen Canberra as the location to take on Costco head to head,” Mr Peters said. “There will be increased competition and it will help consumers, and it will help convenience store retailers who will increasingly have other suppliers other than just Metcash. This will improve competition throughout the ACT.”
Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron said the arrival of the new retail outlet would grow the popularity of the area as a desirable destination shopping hub. “It is about Woolworths competing in Canberra and certainly Masters is going to be much more than a hardware store,” Mr Byron said.
Mr Berger said the stores at Majura will grow the company’s retail workers in the capital by 450 new jobs with an additional 180 jobs during construction.
Note: copyright of the material in this clipping resides with Fairfax Media. Usage permitted in accordance with the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Section 42: Fair dealing for purpose of reporting news. Source: The Canberra Times – 04 August 2011