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Homebuilders takes on Carters Fix It franchise

By Christine Nikiel

Friday 6th June 2003

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The trade-based labour shortage sweeping the country has prompted Albany-based house builder Signature Homes to take over the Fix It Building Services franchise from building supplier, Carters.

Carters, one of the country's biggest building products suppliers, struggled with the franchise operation it set up 18 months ago and was happy to let it go.

Signature Homes is part of the country's largest private exporter of building parts for international resorts and houses, Signature Building Systems International.

Signature Homes managing director Gavin Hunt said this country's trade-based building services market was worth about $5 billion and Signature had seen a "huge gap" in the market.

"There is a terrific labour shortage in commercial and residential sectors at the moment but it's for electricians and plumbers and for smaller maintenance work as well.

"Builders aren't that keen to do the small stuff because it doesn't procure much and takes up their time but that's the market that Fix It focuses on."

Mr Hunt said the Albany-based company would set up 70 Fix It franchises in New Zealand and keep Carters as its exclusive supplier.

Mr Hunt said Signature Homes had been looking for something to add to its business for a while. The company aims to have 25 franchises in this country in the next two years.

Fix It Building Services was initially set up by Carters to target the residential and commercial building services and property-maintenance markets.

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