Essays on Masters Home Improvement Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Masters Home Improvement" is a great example of a case study on marketing. Masters Home Improvement (MHI) is the trading name of a hardware chain in Australia. MHI is operated by a joint venture between Woolworths Limited and Lowe’ s. Woolworths Limited is based in Australia while Lowe’ s is based in Mooresville, North Carolina. Woolworths created Masters as a way to venture into the hardware retail space (Woolworthslimited. com. au, 2016). The hardware retail space in Australia was mainly dominated by Bunnings Warehouse, which is owned by the rival Wesfarmers.

Wesfarmers and Woolworths compete with one another on other product lines such as groceries, fuel, liquor, and general merchandise (Woolworthslimited. com. au, 2016). The first Master's outlet was opened in Victoria in September 2011, but by January 2016, Woolworths announced plans to exit the hardware business (Low, 2015). The failure of the Masters to perform is attributed to poor strategic planning and vision conceptualization. Masters underestimated the strength of Bunnings and the consumer tastes of the Australian home improvement market (Low, 2015). In the end, they could no longer generate the necessary incomes that could sustain the business model.

This paper espouses a discussion that Masters’ failure is a direct result of a lack of awareness of the Australian home improvement market regarding consumers and competitors. Poor Understanding of Market Forces – Customer Culture and CompetitionFirstly, Masters’ biggest failure was that they underestimated Bunnings. The project to enter and dominate the Australian hardware market was dubbed Project Oxygen (Knight, 2016). From the very beginning of this project, it is clear that Masters was heading after the main competitor, Bunnings. Bunnings has been ahead of other players in the market because they entered into this market early enough.

As such, they had a virtual monopoly in the market, and that would mean that new entrants in the market would have to contend with high barriers to entry and a steep learning curve as is the case with most monopoly markets. However, it is clear that this strategy did not work as seen in the annual losses. The first assumption they made was that they would use the same method they had used to outmuscle fierce rival Coles in their supermarkets (Knight, 2016).

The opposite effect occurred as Bunnings moved to consolidate its market share and dominance in the hardware retail sector (Huang et al. , 2015).


Akroush, M., 2012. Organizational capabilities and new product performance. Competitiveness Review, 22(4), pp.343-365.

Brookfield, J., 2003. Globalization and competitive advantage. Strategy & Leadership, 31(3).

Chea, A., 2009. Exemplary Models of Firm Innovation: Strategy and Leadership for the Twenty-First Century Competitive Environment. IBR, 2(2).

Ching, K., 2013. Innovation or Imitation? Business Models and Entrepreneurial Strategy. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2013(1), pp.13272-13272.

Brownlie, D., 1994. Market opportunity analysis. Tourism Management, 15(1), pp.37-45.

Dominici, G., 2009. From Marketing Mix to e-Marketing Mix: a literature overview and classification. IJBM, 4(9).

Dror, S. and Barad, M., 2006. House of Strategy (HOS): from strategic objectives to competitve priorities. International Journal of Production Research, 44(18-19), pp.3879-3895.

Evans, S., 2016. Open and shut case. Woolies' Penrith Masters the most short-lived retail outlet in history of shopping.. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Fahey, L., 2007. Connecting strategy and competitive intelligence: refocusing intelligence to produce critical strategy inputs. Strategy & Leadership, 35(1), pp.4-12.

Ferguson, A., 2016. Time was up for Masters, Woolworths had to act. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Garbelli, M., 2005. Product Differentiation Costs and Global Competition. Symphonya. Emerging Issues in Management, (1).

Ghamari, J., 2008. Conceptualization of Competitive Advantage and Sustainable Competitive Advantage, the Question of Diversity. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Grundy, T., 2006. Rethinking and reinventing Michael Porter's five forces model. Strat. Change, 15(5), pp.213-229.

Haig, M., 2003. Brand failures. London: Kogan Page.

Heffernan, M., 2015. Bunnings stars, Target falters, Coles matches expectations. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Howley, M., 2002. The role of consultancies in new product development. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 11(7), pp.447-458.

Huang, K., Dyerson, R., Wu, L. and Harindranath, G., 2015. From Temporary Competitive Advantage to Sustainable Competitive Advantage. Brit J Manage, 26(4), pp.617-636.

Knight, E., 2016. Woolworths throws in the towel on epic fail. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Low, C., 2015. Five reasons why hardware chain Masters has it all wrong. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Low, C., 2015. Masters' stores losing $78,000 a week. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Mitchell, S., 2015. Is Bunnings getting too big?. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Mitchell, S., 2016. 'We cannot continue to sustain ongoing losses from this business'. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Pascoe, M., 2016. Masters pain far from over for Woolworths. [online] The Age. Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Porter, M., 1980. Competitive strategy. New York: Free Press.

Warren, K., 2002. Competitive strategy dynamics. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley., 2016. Masters Home Improvement - Woolworths Limited. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2016].

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us