Has there ever been a more decisive opportunity for unity amongst independent trade operators than now? Brett Martin, National Operations Manager for Independent Hardware Group (IHG) puts his perspective on how independent timber merchants can draw strength from one another to succeed in an ever-increasing competitive trade landscape.

According to the November 2019 HIA report, the new home building industry can look to 2020 with some optimism as the broader housing market starts to show signs of recovery.  This provides plenty of growth opportunities for those groups that can deliver a national value proposition that works for the Trade customer.

The $16.4b trade market still remains highly fragmented with no clear player servicing the sector on a national basis. Rationalisation and market consolidation is inevitable. The need for independents to unite and work together to deliver a compelling and superior trade offer for the customer is now. 

Independent Hardware Group (IHG) is the largest channel of independent home improvement and trade operators. As Australia’s largest hardware and timber wholesaler and the primary supply channel to the trade and timber market, we support every independent trade member to be competitive and viable in their market.

IHG was formed when the two largest hardware, timber and building supplies networks in Australia, Mitre 10 and Home Timber & Hardware, came together under new Metcash ownership to form a new $2 billion entity and a clear number two market player.

Our collective volume is our greatest strength, giving us leverage to keep members competitive and take the fight up on behalf of members to the big guys. Today, IHG proudly acts as a business partner to over 700 ‘bannered’ stores and 1,000 unbannered’ independent retailers:

  • Unmatched buying power that comes from being a $2.1b business
  • 65% of the IHG business is in Trade
  • Arguably the largest timber merchant in Australia
  • Strong stake in the frame and truss market with 19 fabricators in our network, which continues to grow, and is in excess of $150 million

Our mission statement is to protect and grow our members’ competitive position, profitability and market share. By working together in strong partnerships with our members and key suppliers, we can grow and shape the trade industry.

How do we do that? We help our members to build successful and viable long-term business not just through the product we supply, but through business support tools and services, financial reward for loyalty and importantly, working collaboratively in trade cluster groups.

Our transparent and low-cost trade model is designed to give independent trade industry-leading returns and a compelling competitive advantage in your local market – focusing on what’s important to Independent businesses:

  • Rebate structures that reward volume and loyalty – over $73.5m in rebates delivered back to our members in FY19
  • Leveraging our scale to buy better our members – across all key trade categories
  • Investment in a full suite of technologies that reduces our members’ cost of doing business, encourages customer loyalty, makes builders stickier by making IHG easy to deal with, and grows sales
  • Business support programs and training that drive sustainable sales growth
  • A business model that focuses on locally-owned, trade heritage and relationships

Together, IHG and our members have decades of history servicing the trades. We are proud of the strong family heritage that exists within the IHG network. We stand side by side with our members representing the interests of independent members.

Together, we’re well placed for growth using our scale and reach to position independents as the tradies’ most reliable, long-term business partner.

For more information call:

Brett Martin

IHG Business Manager Trade Operations

E: brett.martin@mitre10.com.au

P: 0419 734 178