Woolworths eases off on Masters break-even vow

 In Australia, NewZealand, Woolworths
A bruising battle with market leader Bunnings and rising losses at its hardware stores has forced Woolworths to walk away from a pledge that its start-up Masters home improvement chain would break even by next year.

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Losses for the business have risen to more than $400 million.

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Its aggressive store rollout program would be slowed to concentrate on key markets while more attention would be devoted to getting its key hardware offer at each store correct.

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Grant O’Brien: Long-term business.

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Admitting what many analysts had warned for some time, Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien, who before taking the reins of the supermarket giant was one of the key architects of its push into hardware five years ago, said losses for Masters would continue to rise, with the loss in fiscal 2014 alone set to hit $169 million. Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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