Mitre 10 has reported the highest sales figures to date in its 41-year history. Its sales rose 8.7 percent to $1.13 billion in the year ended June 30. Mitre 10 chairman Martin Dippie said this showed Mitre 10 was the market leader in a competitive retail environment.rn
“Everyone involved in the Mitre 10 business is pleased to see the company performing so well and thriving in a highly competitive environment,” Dippie says.
The previous year’s sales were $1.04 billion.
Mitre 10’s sales increase has no doubt been spurred on by the trendiness of renovating, with DIY programmes like The Block and Our First Home making for popular viewing in Kiwi households, as well as Auckland’s booming housing market.
Co-operative members will be happy, too, as distributions to members increased to $67.2 million, up 17 percent from $57.3 million in 2014.
Mitre 10 CEO Neil Cowie says the company is particular happy about Mitre 10 Mega’s performance.
Sales for the stores have increased 9.3 percent from 2014 and there are now 38 stores around the country, including a brand new Mitre 10 Mega at Westgate’s new development.
He credited Mitre 10’s success to focusing on the customer experience.
“We’re customer obsessed and we’re finding new ways to better meet our customers’ needs through our dedicated team and co-operative culture,” Cowie says.
Marketing has also played a part in the retailer becoming a household name.
Cowie previously told NZ Retail Magazine the fact that two thirds of Kiwis could recall Mitre 10’s ‘Bring on the Weekend’ campaign shows the strength of the brand.
Mitre 10’s Easy As videos are another successful campaign by the retailer, amassing over four million views.
Cowie emphasised the importance of adapting retail to the online world, be it through social media or an ecommerce channel.
“This switch of consumers to online has been a huge change for us, as it’s not always a natural fit for building supplies and home improvement,” he says.
“We have a lot of products people wouldn’t traditionally buy online without seeing in store first, so we’re working hard to meet the challenge of adapting our model to meet the emerging needs of our customers.”
He said that Mitre 10 customers tend to use ecommerce in a very different way to other products, such as books or clothes.
“Hardware is more about research and about information,” Cowie says.
“Not too many people are going to buy 10L of paint online but what they’ll certainly do is look for inspiration online – they’ll watch the Easy As video online and then go in store and expect the customer experience to be equivalent.”
Growth occurred in core categories, in particular, trade, paint and garden, he says.
As for the future, two more stores are planned to open this financial year – a bigger store will replace the current small store in Queenstown before Christmas, while a Mitre 10 Mega will open in Christchurch next year.
Mitre 10 currently has 81 locally owned and operated stores nationwide, with a staff count over almost 5000.
The DIY and home improvement sector in New Zealand is a competitive space, with other retailers such as Bunnings and Placemakers vying for market share.
Bunnings posted record sales of $899 million in August, up 10.5 percent from the previous year.
It has 25 warehouses, 19 smaller format stores and six trade centres in New Zealand, with over 3700 staff.
Fletcher Building’s New Zealand building supplies division, which includes PlaceMakers, Mico and Forman Distribution, posted operating earnings of $75 million in August, up 6 percent on the year previous.
It said PlaceMakers’ operating earnings were up 26 percent from 2014.
PlaceMakers has 58 stores nationwide and over 2100 employees.