Masters brings in Kmart marketer Dion Workman as brand looks to stem losses

MastersWoolworths’ home improvement chain Masters has confirmed the appointment of Kmart manager Dion Workman to head up its marketing, as the brand looks to recover from a troubled financial year which saw it sink further into the red.

Workman is expected to begin in November and will take the role of general manager marketing, a position he held at Kmart since March 2011. Confirmation of the appointment comes after Masters yesterday named Match Media as its media buyer. But the appointment of a lead creative agency remains unresolved despite the imminent launch of a Spring marketing campaign.

Workman will join at a difficult time for Masters which reported slower than expected sales in 2014 with the chain blaming a “highly competitive market” in addition to the federal budget which it said dented consumer confidence.

Losses in Woolworths home improvement division climbed to $169 million from $139 million in 2013 with Masters admitting it will not break even in 2016.

Despite the performance, Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien insisted in August that the “rationale for entering this market remains strong”.

“It is a $45 billion  market with 5 per cent annual growth and one significant retailer with approximately 17 per cent market share,” he said. “It is a fragmented market that is in the process of consolidation as demonstrated by the 42 per cent Masters sales growth in financial year 2014.”

Workman will be responsible for driving the brand’s marketing message as it strives to raise its awareness and compete with Bunnings.  It is also likely that Workman will take an active role in the appointment of a creative agency. A Woolworths spokesman declined to comment on its creative account.

Kmart declined to comment on Workman’s departure.

Steve Jones


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