By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Australia’s newest home improvement retailer Masters will open its first store next month, setting up shop in the Melbourne suburb of Braybrook.

The new hardware retailer, which is a joint venture of the Woolworths Group and American home improvement giant Lowes, is slated to open in September though an official date is yet to be announced.

The 13,500 square-metre outlet is set to feature a dedicated trade-only area for professionals and, like the other Masters stores that will follow in Queensland and Victoria in the coming months, it will also include a McDonald’s restaurant in the same location.

Speaking to about the new Melbourne Masters store, corporate communications manager for the Woolworths Group Clare Buchanan said the store would aim to provide a different experience to its competitors.

“I think people are just really keen to welcome a new competitor into the space,” said Buchanan. “It’s the little details that will really make the difference. It’s making people’s shopping easier. Yes it’s going to offer fantastic value, it’s going to offer products and brands and ranges that have never been seen before in Australia, and it’s going to offer fantastic service.

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

“We’ve got market-leading brands in there," she added. "They’ve done a really fantastic job of bringing amazing products, great brands to market at a fantastic price. They’ve scoured the world to find really good products at really good prices.

While individual brands and product ranges are yet to be announced, Buchanan confirmed that the store would have a strong appliance offering.

“We’ve got appliances in numerous categories,” she said. “There are whitegoods, there are kitchen appliances and there’s garden power, there’s power tools and the like, and lighting as well.” Buchanan added that there were no plans for an audio-visual offering at this stage.

Following the opening of the Braybrook store, Buchanan said the chain planned to open another “5 or 6 [stores] by Christmas”. Outlets in Queensland are expected in October/November, though there have been delays due to inclement weather, and there are a total of 19 stores under construction across Australia at the moment.

Each store will employ approximately 150 staff members, according to Buchanan, “and each store’s staff would have gone through 10,000 hours of training cumulatively.”

Even before its first has opened its doors, the Masters team boasts an impressive pedigree of industry experience.

“We have people that have worked for other leading home improvement retailers, and people who have worked in the manufacturing business, people who come out of a trade environment. It’s a real mixture of fantastic talent,” Buchanan said.

The Masters logo, with a stylised 'M' designed to look like a drill bit.