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Woolies to honour Hills' deal despite Masters exit

Business

Woolworths will honour its seven-year deal to distribute Hills branded clotheslines and garden products despite ending one of its ventures into the home improvement sector.

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“The recent announcement by Woolworths that it will pursue an orderly prospective sale or wind-up of its Masters and Home Timber & Hardware businesses will not impact the obligations of Woolworths under our agreement,” Hills said in a statement on Thursday.

The agreement, signed in December 2014, allows the supermarket giant to use the Hills brand on more than 240 products in exchange for a guaranteed minimum annual licence fee.

Hills, which has been reshaped as a technology firm, made an $86 million full year loss in 2014/15.

Woolworths announced this week it was abandoning its Masters stores after a disappointing entry into the home hardware sector to compete with Wesfarmers’ Bunnings.

Eleven stores were planned for South Australia, promised by Masters to create some 4500 jobs in stores and during construction.

Adelaide Airport and Mount Gambier stores have opened, employing about 200 people, while the Parafield Airport store was scheduled to open in May this year.

The company’s fourth SA store was also planned in Nourlunga which began construction in May last year.

with AAP

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