Masters Home Improvement has opened its 24th store in Australia nearly five months ahead of schedule and a week before the store’s official opening, which will take place on Wednesday 14 November.
The 13,200 square metre store, which is the third in NSW, will stock over 35,000 products from tools, hardware and lighting to décor, kitchens and bathrooms.
Some brands it stocks including Hitachi, Panasonic, Bosch Blue, James Hardie, Boral, Stegbar, Fletchers, Carter Holt Harvey and Cement Australia. It also sells Dyson – a brand that its sister department discount store Big W was unable to secure.
At the same time, due to Masters’ connection to US home improvement chian Lowes, the company also stocks exclusive brands that are popular in the US such as Walpamur and Kobalt.
“We say we’re a one stop shop for your home, whether you’re trying to decorate it or and fit it out,” Clint Pocock, Masters Home Improvement area manager, said
“We’ve tried to create the store and make it a female friendly environment. It’s also targeted for the tradies.”
On-site designers and fitout specialists make up the 145 or so staff working at the store. At least 10,000 hours was put into training the staff for the new store to ensure the hardware retailer’s key differentiator – customer service – was in order. This includes ensuring staff attends to any customer alerts that are initiated by any one of the 35 ‘call for help’ buttons around the store within 45 seconds.
The store is also fitted with self-service registers that be switched to assisted registers at any time.
“Rather than having a physical barrier between our staff and customers by having these registers it means they’ll be able to stand side by side and be able to have that more personal interaction,” Pocock said.
In a separate announcement, the company also launched the Trade Member Program. This gives trade customers and builders a five per cent discount across all items for those who hold both a Trade Member Card and Trade Account. This discount is equivalent to staff discount.
The Trade Account has been built to meet the needs of trade business owners, and includes benefits such as monthly statements with receipt information, job referencing, GST itemisation, no annual card fee or online account management fees, and up to 60 credit-free days.
Masters is a joint venture between Woolworths and US home improvement chain Lowe’s. It is on track to open between 15 and 20 new stores a year for the foreseeable future.
“Masters values its trade customers and we are constantly looking at ways in which we can offer the industry convenience both in-store and online, and through great trade-only value offerings,” said Don Stallings, CEO, Masters.