Masters failure doesn’t come as a surprise.
Australian consumers already had a successful, established offering from Bunnings yet Masters failed to deliver a point of difference that appealed to the market.
Their aggressive store rollout, paired with an inability to differentiate the business, presented a number of challenges and this week Woolworths has confirmed the closure of its Masters stores by December 11.
A consortium of private investors (including Aurrum Group, Spotlight Group and Chemist Warehouse), will buy the 61 Masters stores and 21 development sites, and has voiced plans to turn the sites into multi tenant large format centres.
It’s not surprising that they have taken this approach. As retailers with different businesses, the multi tenant format allows them to house their own brands whilst providing customers with the convenience of other complimentary retail offerings.
It’s an existing formula that makes sense. However, it’s important to acknowledge that Australians don’t want more of the same thing. Customers crave new brands and experiences that raise the bar and exceed expectations.
After much of the same, hopefully we will see the centres house some new brands that customers can get excited about.