CWH consortium to take over Masters stores

Group plans to convert the 61 stores and 21 development sites into large shopping centres

Home Consortium, comprising Chemist Warehouse Group, aged care operator Aurrum and Spotlight Group, has announced its agreement to buy the Masters properties from Woolworths for $800 million.

In return they will acquire a total existing building area in excess of 700,000 square metres, which the group plans to convert into large-format retail centres featuring outlets including Chemist Warehouse, Spotlight, JB Hi-Fi, Woolworths Supermarkets, Dan Murphy’s and The Good Guys.

With plans to open the “revitalised and reformatted centres” from the second quarter of 2017, the consortium says it expects around 8,000 retail jobs will be created by the time the portfolio is fully leased and operational, “more than offsetting job losses following the closure of Masters later this year”.

Trading locations are based in several suburbs across Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, and Cairns; as well as several more in regional New South Wales.

“Our concept and plans for the centres have been actively tested and developed with very successful retailers who recognise its potential, especially the opportunity to gain exposure to population growth regions across Australia,” said Home Consortium’s chairman, David Di Pilla.

“We plan to quickly engage with key stakeholders including local, state and federal governments and other retailers keen to participate in the transformation of the former Masters sites into vibrant, economically productive precincts providing employment opportunities across the communities that they serve,” Di Pilla said.

Chemist Warehouse declined to provide further comment on the acquisition.

Photo by Bidgee

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