At the time of writing, South Africa’s love of home improvements shows no sign of slowing up, which is excellent news for retailers like Massbuild.
The hardware, paint and glass segment recorded its highest year-on-year growth in retail sales in November 2014 at 12.2 per cent.
As 2015 kicked into full swing, JSE-listed Massmart posted a 10.4 per cent gain in full-year revenue to R78.2billion, with a significant contribution coming from sales at its building materials and home improvement business. Sales in its Massbuild subsidiary rose a healthy 14.6 per cent over the period.
Massbuild operates four complementary brands: Builders Warehouse, which operates large DIY and home improvement stores in major urban areas; Builders Express and Builders Superstore, a chain of smaller neighbourhood home and garden improvement stores; and Builders Trade Depot, a chain of building contractor outlets located in industrial sites in peri-urban and urban areas focusing on delivering the core range for all phases of building projects.
The Massbuild Value Proposition is a cornerstone of the company’s pledge to customers and an important element of its continued success, as the company website explains:
“Builders Warehouse and Builders Express are both pioneers in introducing retail principles to the South African DIY and home improvement sector and attaching garden centres to hardware stores. The clean, friendly and uncluttered look and feel of our stores offer customers a shopping experience not traditionally associated with the industry. Our new stores aim to introduce ‘retail theatre’ where lighting, colour and ambiance enhance the shopping experience, signage is clean and bold, and product displays are enticing.
“Several of our private brands, including Mastercraft and Builders Pride, have become household names, with our customers assured of stringent quality control and best supplier practices. In both the residential and commercial property markets, Builders Trade Depot’s value proposition to customers is our ability to consistently deliver an appropriate, professional range at highly competitive basket prices, combined with exceptional contractor support services in a relationship-driven environment.
“The first Builders Superstore opened in November 2013 and caters for customers with homes situated in dense residential, township, rural and developing areas, and will be conveniently located near commuter nodes.”
The Massbuild brand has developed significantly over the past decade or so, with acquisitions playing an integral part, as the corporate website reflects:
“Massmart acquired 5 Builders Warehouse stores operating in Johannesburg and Pretoria in 2003, bought and rebranded 3 De La Rey stores in the Western Cape in 2005 and now operates 34 Builders Warehouse stores in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. Builders Warehouse follows the big-box or warehouse retail format, offering home owners, DIY enthusiasts and building and maintenance contractors a comprehensive range of competitively priced products under one roof, with a large garden centre display and builders’ supplies yard. The brand is unique in that it is the only home improvement warehouse in South Africa.
“Builders Express was formed in 2005 when Massmart bought and rebranded 14 Servistar stores operating in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Massbuild now operates 36 home and garden Builders Express stores in South Africa that cater to home owners. They have a strong focus on convenient locations, aesthetically pleasing displays, customer-friendly store layout and personalised service and advice. Builders Express is integrated into Builders Warehouse with a single management structure.
“Builders Trade Depot was formed when 34 Federated Timber stores were acquired and rebranded in 2005. Seven smaller stores have since been closed and, after the store conversions and acquisitions to date, Builders Trade Depot now operates 20 outlets catering mostly for medium- to large-sized contractors and tradesmen engaged in building, maintenance and renovation projects. It also focuses on servicing the needs of construction entrepreneurs who need trade credit, telephonic ordering and want bulk goods delivered from low-cost outlets.
“The first Builders Superstore opened in November 2013 and caters for customers with homes situated in dense residential, township, rural and developing areas, and will be conveniently located near commuter nodes.
“Builders Superstore was formed in 2013 and is a discount Home Improvement format in townships and towns, servicing surrounding rural areas. They are conveniently located, close to transport nodes and a major food retailer.”
The Massbuild brand continues to enjoy terrific growth as the Massmart business expands its geographical footprint.
In July 2013, Massmart announced the opening of its second Builders Warehouse store in Botswana. The store opened its doors on Thursday, 25 July 2013. Massbuild invested R20.55 million in the new 5,150 square metre Builders Warehouse, located in Somerset West, Francistown. The first Builders Warehouse store in Botswana opened in Gaborone, in September 2011.
Commenting at the time, Llewellyn Walters CEO Massbuild, said: “As the largest home improvement retailer in South Africa, and with the success of our Gaborone store, we are delighted to be opening another store in Botswana. We have been looking forward to bringing customers inn Francistown the best choice at the lowest possible prices.”
The store’s design and layout is in line with South African Builders Warehouse stores and natural lighting has been introduced into the store through translucent roof sheeting to help reduce energy consumption. The new store’s design and layout is easy to navigate and helps define the store’s merchandise areas.
Grant Pattison, Massmart Chief Executive Officer at the time, underlined the ambitious approach of Massmart’s divisions to open up Africa: “The store opening is in line with Massmart’s Africa expansion strategy and we have several new sites approved in our existing African markets. We are also focusing on East and West Africa where we are already in the planning stages of implementing our discount food retail strategy.”
With South Africa’s enduring love affair for DIY, the Massbuild brand is well positioned for further unprecedented success.