GardenDrumMoves among the big box stores

Photo Bidgee Masters_Home_Improvement_store_at_Majura_Park_in_Canberra_(1)

Photo – Bidgee

There are moves afoot among the world’s big box stores, with Australian Woolworths looking to sell or close down its chain of Masters stores, and Wesfarmers buying and transforming the huge UK Homebase business into its first international Bunnings. What does this mean for gardeners?

The demise of Masters could be disaster for many wholesale nurseries which have had to choose either Bunnings or Masters as their main distribution channel. The fierce competition between the two box store rivals means that the nurseries that chose Masters could be left without anywhere to sell their stock if it’s not sold as a going concern.

With the Australian nursery industry still only just recovering from the Millennium Drought and so many local nurseries closing due to rising land prices and inability to compete, this lack of competition in greenlife sales is not good for gardeners.

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6 thoughts on “Moves among the big box stores

  1. Rosebud on said:

    Really? I wasn’t impressed with Masters garden centres. The range of plants was limited, uninspiring, not good value for money and their staff a tad clueless. So didn’t consider them serious competition to retail nurseries or Bunnings.

    • There are good and bad Masters just like there are good and bad Bunnings. Neither has a policy of employing trained horticulturists at their stores but you can be lucky and still find one. The main point re Masters possible closure is that there are wholesale nurseries and growers who chose contracts with Masters over contracts with Bunnings who will hurt badly if the chain goes belly up. And it’s an industry that is still going through difficult times.

      • Hi Catherine, who are the suppliers particular to Masters?

        I do know that the only place I have seen vireya rhododendrons at a big store has been at Masters. I asked at Bunnings and they have no supplier for this particular plant.

        • Sorry – I can’t name names as that info is commercially sensitive. If you are in NSW, Vanderbyl Nursery on the NSW North Coast is a big grower of the more tropical vireyas. It will be at the Collectors Plant Fair in western Sydney in April.

  2. chris on said:

    masters got a lot of their plants off brokers

  3. The Masters that I go to never replenishes their stock at all, except for the displays on the end of the aisles and veggies of course. They also let everything droop in summer as they fail to water their plants. I went to another one to see if this was common and their entire nursery section was half dead. I’m not sure if it such a big loss to plant buyers but it might make Bunnings try less because of lack of competition.

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