Mitre 10

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This article is about the Australian chain. For the New Zealand chain, see Mitre 10 (New Zealand).
Mitre 10 Australia Pty. Ltd.
Public Unlisted Company
Industry Retail/Trade Building supplies
Genre Hardware
Founded 1959 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Founder Tom Molomby
Tom Danaher
Reg Buchanan
Jack Womersley
Ian Nisbet
Headquarters Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Area served
Key people
Mark Laidlaw, CEO
Products Timber
Retail/Trade Plumbing
Farm fencing products
Trade Electrical supplies
Hand and Power Tools
Kitchen and Bathroom
Garden and Outdoor products
Services Painting, Tool Sharpening, Pool Water Testing, DIY Workshops
Revenue Increase A$1.06 billion (2009)[1]
Increase A$371.6 million (2009)[2]
Owner Metcash Ltd (ASXMTS
Number of employees
Slogan Australia
Mighty Helpful, Mitre 10
Website Australia, Online Shop

Mitre 10 is the trading name of an Australian retail and trade hardware store chain. Operations are based on a co-operative system where the store owners are members of the national group and each has voting rights. The chain name references the mitre joint, but was inspired by the Mitre Tavern in Melbourne.[3] There are over 400 "Mitre 10" and its associated "True Value Hardware" franchises throughout Australia.


Mitre 10 Solutions store with the older Mitre 10 logo in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
Mitre 10 MEGA and Trade Centre Pakenham, Victoria

The move to set up a co-operative group of hardware stores originated from a meeting held in Victoria, in June 1959, with five men who would become Mitre 10's founding fathers — Tom Molomby, Tom Danaher, Reg Buchanan, Jack Womersley and Ian Nisbet. The meeting was held in the Mitre Tavern, and the group eventually hoped to build things up to ten stores, so they decided to call the company Mitre 10.[3] This move occurred specifically to maximise funds and energy with regards to advertising and promotions and to demonstrate that independent operators offered service, advice and competitive prices.

The new company soon expanded operations, with fifteen New South Wales members joining the group by February 1961. Queensland soon followed with seven retailers, under the chairmanship of Arthur Scurr, joining the cooperative in January 1962, followed by a further sixteen members from Newcastle in October the same year. With the company successfully operational in the three Eastern states by the end of 1962 South Australia and Western Australia soon started running their own state based co-operatives, attentions turned to crossing the Tasman.[3]

In June 2004 Mitre 10 Australia opened its first "destination hardware, or "Big-box" chain at Beenleigh, Queensland.[4]

In late 2008 Woolworths Limited and Mitre 10 Australia were in talks of to acquire the company. The Australian Financial Review reported Mitre 10 Australia had held talks with other companies since beginning to find a major buyer or investor, although in early 2009 Woolworths decided the company structure was too complex for a takeover. Mitre 10 Australia is believed to be in talks with Metcash Trading, supplier of IGA and various liquor stores, analysts say Metcash had been on lookout for a ‘fourth pillar’ for some time to add to its operations, and that Mitre 10 may be perfect.[5]

A store in Port Adelaide, South Australia
A store in Port Adelaide, South Australia

In late 2009 Mitre 10 Australia announced that they were searching for a major investment or buyer, on 27 November, Metcash (ASXMTS) released a statement to the ASX with a proposal for Metcash to take 50.1% in the Mitre 10 Hardware Group for A$55 million cash injection. Mitre 10 Australia members voted on March 2010, the deal gave Metcash the right to buy the remaining 49.9% in the company at the end of 2012 or 2013 with an amount based on the earnings. Mitre 10 Australia will remain a standalone entity headed by Mark Burrowes. In March 2010 98% of Mitre 10 Australia shareholders voted in favour of the Metcash bid.[6]

Store types[edit]

Chelsea Heights Mitre 10 MEGA store front (This store is now branded in Blue/White Mitre 10 livery.
Chelsea Heights Mitre 10 MEGA store interior

Mega is Mitre 10's "destination hardware, or "big-box" chain designed as a one stop shop for big projects, to compete with Bunnings Warehouse. The main focus of the Mega is customer service, it markets itself as "All the help you need", stores have customer service attendants stationed in different departments of the store i.e., plumbing, trade building supplies (timber), paint, the majority of these have a trade qualification.[7] Mitre 10 Australia opened its first Mega in June 2004 at Beenleigh, Queensland.[4]

In 2007 seven Mega stores operated across Australia, one in Queensland, one in South Australia and five in Victoria, Mitre 10 Australia originally had planned to have 50 MEGA stores open, or have store owners renovate from other store types, across the country in metropolitan and regional hubs by the end of 2009.[8] As at August 2009 three stores have closed. The Ringwood, Victoria store closed due to financial difficulty, with the store employing over 130 people,[9] while the Campbellfield, Victoria store was closed in March 2009 due to the building having structural problems, the store employed 54 people, with the closure staff were redeployed to other stores.[10] The Modbury, South Australia Mega store was bought by Wesfarmer's Bunnings Warehouse in January 2007, the store employed 100 people.[11][12] Hardy's Mitre 10 Mega in Pakenham, Victoria being the only store redeveloped from a smaller Mitre 10 Home and Trade store, still trading, with plans to expand.[13] The Mega store in Lilydale, Victoria closed in late 2009, being the last Mitre 10 Australia corporate store. Three privately owned Mega stores are still operating in Australia, one in Beenleigh, Queensland, Pakenham, Victoria, and Chelsea Heights, Victoria (As of late 2011, Chelsea Heights has rebranded their store and is now known as Womersley's Mitre 10).

Other types[edit]

Mitre 10 Australia currently has 2 different types of store concepts:

  • Mitre 10 stores painted in the traditional blue and white livery
  • Mitre 10 MEGA stores painted in the black, white and orange livery

As Mitre 10 stores are all privately owned, operators have the option of adding concepts to their store, such as a dedicated "GardenCentre" or "TradeCentre".


  1. ^ Mitre 10 Australia's revenue increased
  2. ^ "Mitre 10 Australia Ltd - Profile Report 09/10". Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Mitre 10 History - Superbrands Australia". 20 June 1974. Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Speedy, Blair. "Mitre 10 nails down its mega battle with Bunnings ", The Australian, 17 SEP 2004. Retrieved on 28 AUG 2009.
  5. ^ "Metcash a potential suitor for Mitre 10?". 19 September 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  6. ^ AAP (12 March 2010). "Mitre 10 approves Metcash deal". Inside Retailing. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "15% Mitre 10 staff are tradies". Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  8. ^ Mitre 10 Selects Pronto Software for ERP Solution for New MEGA Stores[dead link]
  9. ^ "Mitre 10 Megastore comes to Ringwood, Maroondah Leader". Google .au. Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  10. ^ Luvara, Laura (24 February 2009). "Campbellfield Mega closes doors". Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  11. ^ Quast, James . "Modbury Job Boost", Leader Messenger, 2004-11-3. Retrieved on 28 November 2009.
  12. ^ "Regulator reviews Bunnings acquisitions of Major Competitor". Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Mitre 10 Mega Pakenham expansions coming". Retrieved 25 October 2010. 

External links[edit]