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Both JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys Confirmed For Masters Stores

An interesting scenario is developing following the $725 million agreement by Home Consortium to buy the Masters property portfolio with both JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys confirmed as potential new tenants, also taking up options to lease former Masters stores is Bunnings.

The move by JB Hi Fi to lease larger premises in an effort to expand their appliance business up against The Good Guys comes as JB Hi Fi is still running a ruler over the potential acquisition of the big appliance retailer. The move could also put pressure on Harvey Norman as JB Hi Fi looks to take appliance market share away from the mass retailer.

The acquisition of the Masters property portfolio by Home Consortium is already having an impact with shares in THE $2 billion BWP Trust, the country’s biggest owner of Bunnings Warehouses, falling heavily on Friday after it was revealed that the Wesfarmers-owned DIY giant would vacate up to seven of its warehouses and occupy Home Consortium’s Masters sites instead.

“We’re getting the backwash from the Home Consortium deal,” BWP managing director Michael Wedgwood told AFR Weekend.

Bunnings have said that they are vacating its smaller, older stores for the bigger Masters sites.

Bunnings will vacate the BWP Trust properties after agreeing to occupy 15 sites among the portfolio of 61 Masters properties and 21 development sites that Home Consortium will acquire from Woolworths and its US partner Lowe’s.

The Masters deal will create the biggest large format centre landlord in the country with more than 700,000 square metres of lettable space to be repurposed and rolled out starting in the second quarter of 2017.

Home Consortium, backed by the owners of Spotlight, Chemist Warehouse and Aurrum, has already negotiated leasing pre-commitments with some of the biggest retailers in the country, including JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Woolworths and Dan Murphy’s.

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