Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Masters' Fate Up in Air

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Masters' Fate Up in Air

Article excerpt

Lucy Smith

lucy.smith@dailymercury.com.au

MORE than 100 staff members at the Mackay Masters Home Improvement store have been left wondering how much longer they'll be in a job.

Woolworths announced yesterday it would attempt to either sell or wind up the chain of home and hardware stores after a review found it would "take many years for Masters to become profitable".

"We have determined we cannot continue to sustain ongoing losses from this business," chairman Gordon Cairns said.

It is thought the joint venture between Woolworths and Lowe's had lost $700 million in the past four years.

Woodman's Mitre 10 manager Kerry Wooodman said the announcement didn't come as a surprise.

"It was inevitable. They were losing so much money, across Australia, they had to double their sales just to break even," he said.

Mr Woodman said competition from Bunnings and the selling of unfamiliar brands had spelled Masters' demise. …

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