The head of the Terang Co-op's hardware stores says moving to the Mitre 10 banner will ensure the stores' ability to provide a range of products at competitive prices.
The two stores, in Terang and Camperdown, will move under the Mitre 10 banner, joining Australia's largest independent home improvement and hardware wholesaler.
New signage has been prepared and the buildings are being painted in preparation for the change.
Terang Co-op CEO Kevin Ford said it was an exciting change which would build on significant improvements made in recent years.
"We have been remodelling the stores to ensure presentation and stock levels are what's needed by our communities," Mr Ford said. "To move to the Mitre 10 brand is a natural progression for us."
The stores have been operating as HOME Timber and Hardware, which had been purchased by and amalgamated with Mitre 10. "It was logical to move to Mitre 10 whose support, range of goods and promotional campaigns fit well with the Co-op," Mr Ford said.
"Being part of the Mitre 10 brand lets our customers know we're competitive with stock and price compared to anyone in the market.
"The range of products will mostly stay the same. We've already made a lot of changes to better serve the needs of customers. However, more interactive support will help as Australia recovers from COVID-19. Mitre 10 is a much stronger click and collect business, which is ideal at this time. It means our customers can order online and pick it up from the stores." The repainting started this week and the new look will be implemented over the next few weeks. "We apologise for any inconvenience during this changeover but assure customers it will be worth it," Mr Ford said.
The Camperdown Hardware store re-opened under the Co-op ownership in 2014. Mitre 10, formed in 1959, is one of the largest players in Australia's home improvement and hardware industry with a retail network of more than 300 stores.
According to the 2018-19 annual report the year was challenging, with the St Patrick's Day fires in March 2018.
The report stated that in the first six months of the year the Camperdown store performed poorly but after improvements were made the the business was reinvigorated. By the end of the financial year, the number of customer transactions had grown by 3,000 with sales growth to support this. "We still have a way to go but a very disturbing trend has been reversed and, with increased sales growth, we expect a vastly different result in the new financial year," the report stated.