Thursday, June 13th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

Hardware giant Bunnings has long been Australia’s first choice for everything from rubber washers to dishwashers, with rival Mitre 10 a distant second. But now Woolworths-owned Masters Home Improvement has expanded the choice for DIY buffs and tradies.

Hardware giant Bunnings has long been Australia’s first choice for everything from rubber washers to dishwashers, with substantially more customers than nearest rival Mitre 10. But with the introduction of Woolworths-owned Masters Home Improvement, the choice for DIY enthusiasts and tradies has expanded. So far, however, the new chain has had little impact on customer numbers at either of its more established rivals.

The latest figures from Roy Morgan Research indicate that Masters has been increasing its customer base consistently over the last year, with 8% of Australians aged 14+ having bought something there — up from 3% a year ago. This hasn’t affected visitation rates at Bunnings, which remain stable, with close to two thirds of the population buying something there annually. (Furthermore, Bunnings shoppers pay an average seven visits to the store per year, compared to three by Masters shoppers.)

There was no change for Mitre 10 over the last year, either: 17% of the population buy something there per year, and pay an average five annual visits.

Source:Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Mar 2012 – Mar 2013, average per quarter n = 5,256; Base: Australians 14+

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Since opening nearly two years ago, Masters has almost 30 stores and is now trading in most Australian states. Its association with the reality TV program House Rules would also be boosting its profile. However, its lack of impact on customers at Bunnings and Mitre 10 suggests shoppers have added Masters to their retail repertoire rather than stopped shopping at its competitors.

“In part this can be understood by examining the type of customers Masters is attracting. For example, Masters shoppers are more likely to have bought/built a new home than typical Bunnings or Mitre 10 customers. Not surprisingly, Masters’ customers are also likely to have redecorated or refurbished their home, purchasing items like curtains and wallpaper.

“With the increased level of competition in the hardware field, it’s no longer just about wheelbarrows, nails and power tools. Masters is appealing to customers who want to change or improve their home décor as well, with a large range of decorating products on offer and even a section dedicated to ‘Ideas & Inspiration’ on their website.”

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Hardware giant Bunnings has long been Australia’s first choice for everything from rubber washers to dishwashers, with rival Mitre 10 a distant second. But now Woolworths-owned Masters Home Improvement has expanded the choice for DIY buffs and tradies.

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