Fears for Hardware Prices

WOOLWORTHS’ intention to close the Masters operation gives me mixed feelings.

Having been a customer of Bunning Bros. timber and hardware store in Norma Road, Booragoon in the 1960s, after it was taken over by another local company, Wesfarmers, I continued to give them my support.

However, in recent years I have noticed many iconic locally made products being replaced by east coast products.

The contempt for WA suppliers who assisted Bunnings to expand to national operations coincided with the purchasing office being transferred to Melbourne.

Should the Masters operation fold, I fear the added strength of Bunnings will see prices rise on many products because there are not many small hardware stores left to keep them honest.

Clearly, Bunnings now have no allegiance to the traditional supporter base or a wide range of their original suppliers.

The appropriate regulatory authority will have to keep a close eye on what develops.