Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware extends into the future

he team at Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware are about to enjoy their first Christmas in the extensively renovated store, which includes a new garden and outdoor living centre, as well as a new kitchen design and sales centre.
Store name: Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware
Store owners: The Iser family
Buying group: Home Timber & Hardware

After many months of re-building and with over $5 million invested into Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware’s major extension, much of the local community and store staff were thrilled to finally celebrate the grand opening of the newly renovated store.

The major renovations increased the store by an additional 1,000m2 to the existing site, allowing for an expansion to its core hardware range and introduction of new lines, as well as the creation of a new garden and green-life centre, forming a one stop shop for the home improvement needs of Bendigo locals. The renovations also incorporated a new outdoor living centre, new kitchen design and sales centre and an increased product range across the store.

For many months, the major extension has supported nearby businesses using local tradesmen during the build and once completed, it created extra jobs for the region with Hume & Iser hiring seven new staff members, as well as a dedicated consultant for their kitchen display area.

Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware Managing Director, Stephen Iser, said the renovation and grand opening has showcased to customers the significant evolution of the Hume & Iser business.

“This has been such an exciting time for our family business. The support from our staff and the community while we renovate has been incredible,” Stephen said.

Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware Managing Director, Stephen Iser, said completing the major renovations was an exciting time for the family business.

Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware Managing Director, Stephen Iser, said completing the major renovations was an exciting time for the family business.

Years in the making

Plans for the extension began three years ago, when the board predicted it was time to extend the retail side of the business. However this is not the first time the store has been re-developed, with the hardware section doubling in size just over 10 years ago.

“Ten years after a major renovation and the store is now full to capacity, so we decided to add another 1,000 square metres, to develop more garden green life and garden products. A new entry to the north side of the business was constructed, which is about nine metres high and is a very open design as it is built with a lot of glass and timber,” Stephen said.

“I completed a study tour with the Home Timber and Hardware Group to Germany in 2012, where we saw a lot of very elaborate nurseries in Germany, so I brought back a lot of ideas from this. We tried to ensure the design was light and bright and it looks stunning. This is about the third renovation we have completed and I imagine in about less than 10 years we will have to do it again – or we will revamp the business,” he said.

Now at 6,000 square metres, Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware is independently one of the largest stores in the group, apart from a number of HTH company stores. The family owned Hume & Iser Home Timber & Hardware has a long history in the Bendigo, with the business opening over 134 years ago in the 1880s. Stephen is a fourth generation member of the Iser family and he says there are fifth generation family members on the board.

Amazingly, the business is still on the original site in Charleston Place and with the extensive works now completed at the store, it has cemented its long-term future as a proudly independent owned and operated hardware business in Bendigo.

The store’s interior now features a bright and spacious promenade giving an entire new look to the store

The store’s interior now features a bright and spacious promenade giving an entire new look to the store

Bendigo’s competition remains fierce

Competition in the area remains fierce and currently includes one Bunning’s store with a second Bunnings store being built to the north of Bendigo. There is a Mitre 10 also in town, along with another Home Timber and Hardware store at Eaglehawk, about seven kilometres from Bendigo.

To continually grow amongst such strong competition, Stephen said he believes it is vital the store and staff strive to perform better than their competition.

“I assume there will be a Masters store in the area in the near future, so we ensure we can compete on price and make sure we stock a good range of products, but the main thing is just to do it better than the rest and continue to grow. Home improvement and construction is booming and Bendigo also has the $800 mill hospital being built, to be finished in 2018, which will also bring huge growth to Bendigo.”

“I had no problem in spending the money at all because Bendigo is growing at such a rate, with over a thousand residents currently moving to Bendigo annually. We are probably 55 per cent trade and 45 per cent retail at the moment and we’re determined to continue to support the community who support us. Our grand opening was the perfect way to celebrate with our customers and staff and thank everyone who made this possible,” Stephen said.

Grand celebration

To keep with the theme of being a family orientated store which supports its local community, the grand opening was held on Father’s Day, with staff and locals rewarded with special giveaways, in-store specials, product specialists in-store, as well as a photo booth, face painting, sausage sizzle and a special appearance by Rusty and Sandy, ensuring it was a day to remember by all.

“Our customers were happy on the day, but the good thing is customers have continued to support us consistently since the grand opening, with our sales growing on a weekly basis,” he said.