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Lowe’s Drops Australian Home Improvement Chain

Lowe’s is dropping a business partnership that has opened more than 60 Australian home improvement stores since 2011.

The retailer’s partner, Australian company Woolworths Limited, manages businesses in the supermarket, liquor and hospitality sectors, in addition to Masters Home Improvement. The company has called its venture with Masters Home Improvement unprofitable and also plans to exit the home improvement business.

“Our recent review of operating performance indicates it will take many years for Masters to become profitable. We have determined we cannot continue to sustain ongoing losses from this business,” Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns says. “…We intend to pursue an orderly prospective sale or wind-up of the business.”

Lowe’s owns one-third of the business that operates 63 Masters Home Improvement stores and Home Timber & Hardware Group, another store chain and wholesaler.

“While Australia offers an attractive home improvement market and the joint venture has made progress, we have decided, following a comprehensive strategic analysis, to focus our resources on areas of our business where we see greater potential return on our investment,” says Richard D. Maltsbarger, Lowe’s chief development officer and president of international.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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