By Claire Reilly
Wholesale distribution and marketing company Metcash this week announced a 100 per cent buyout of the Mitre 10 brand, solidifying the home hardware and appliance retailer's space in its stable of brands.
Part of the Australian retail landscape since 1959, Mitre 10 consists of a network of independently-owned shopfronts under both the Mitre 10 and True Value Hardware branding. The stores range a number of appliance categories, including ovens, cooktops, rangehoods and dishwashers as well as power tools and a small selection of seasonal and small appliance products.
Metcash acquired its original 50.1 per cent stake of the brand in 2010, and paid approximately $46.5 million to acquire complete ownership. Speaking about the takeover was Metcash CEO, Andrew Reitzer.
“Mitre 10 has proven to be a highly strategic and value adding business pillar for Metcash,” he said. “The acquisition will provide an enhanced ability for Metcash to leverage its proven merchandising and brand management skills and world class logistics capability into the hardware sector.
“Mitre 10 is the last true independent hardware group," he added. "Metcash is pleased to stand behind their commitment to delivering ‘Mighty Helpful’ service to their customers by offering the best products and advice.”
Lance Collins, the chairman of Mittenmet (former parent company of Mitre 10), said that he expected Mitre 10 to continue to grow under the new Metcash ownership.
Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Collins said he expected retailers trading under the Mitre 10 and True Value Hardware shingle to grow their market share from roughly 8 per cent to between 15 and 20 per cent. However, this would come at the cost of "unaligned" stores (such as lighting shops and plumbing outlets) losing share.
“My belief is that...Mitre 10 and associated brand Tru-Value [sic] will become the independent brand over the next six to eight years,” he said. “They are coming to us because they are scared of the conflicts in Woolies being a wholesaler and retailer in the same marketplace.”