Masters Home Improvement opened their Bayswater store, within Central Ward, in April 2014. They have provided some much needed competition to the hardware market, yet are being discriminated against by antiquated and anti-competitive WA trading rules. This disadvantages customers, is contrary to the concept of an even playing field and is contrary to both Liberal and Labor Party beliefs. Yet it continues.
In early 2012 Masters opened their first WA store and have subsequently expanded to multiple sites. They have a unique business model where they offer white goods, interior lighting, kitchens as well as a full range of hardware products. Unfortunately for Masters, as well as their customers, in WA the sale of white goods and interior lighting has meant that they are classed as a ‘general retail shop’ and their hours are limited to the below:
This contrasts with Bunnings which is classed as a ‘special retail shop’ and can operate between 6 am and 11.30 pm every day of the year:
Regardless of why Masters Home Improvement don’t qualify as a “home improvement shop”, when clearly they are – it’s even in their name, the anti-competitive opening hours are a major competitive disadvantage for Masters. In addition to tradespeople starting work early and wanting to pick up materials prior to 8.00 am during the week, general customers need to wait until 11.00 am to gain access to Masters on Sundays and public holidays which are presumably the preferred days for doing house repairs etc.
It also is contrary to what the Liberal Party believes:
And to the State Labor Platform:
As such I call on both parties to support a level playing field and get rid of this unreasonable situation where Masters Home Improvement is being discriminated against. Retail models change and evolve and this should be embraced, not discriminated against. Even the CEO of Wesfarmers (which own Bunnings) is on record as saying:
“If you are not going to have deregulation, everyone should be on the same level playing field.” and “The same trading hours should apply to everyone”.
It would be nice is someone was listening, and even nicer if they did something about it.
(Please be aware that these views are my own and have not been endorsed by the City of Bayswater)