December 2020

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December 2020

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Industry Insights 2020

While 2020 is a year many small business owners would rather forget, hardware retailers are heading out of this year relatively unscathed, with some segments of the hardware industry achieving record sales during the pandemic. In this special edition of Industry Insights, discover not only what industry leaders achieved this year, but the important lessons they have learned along the way.

Retail Focus: SSS Bargain Builders Supplies’ unique selling style

SSS Bargain Builders Supplies Owner, Neil Smith, has grown and evolved his store for over 25 years by selling a wide variety of building products to his customers in a unique style, which he says could be seen as an “old-fashioned” way of retailing, but may just be the key to fighting Big Box competition.

November 2020

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November 2020

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User friendly, smart security drives market

Safety and security trends are currently based around ensuring products are more accessible, smarter and easier for consumers, which is why innovative electronics and smart technology were particularly popular throughout 2020, according to Allegion’s Marketing Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Craig Patterson.

Building materials grow despite disruptive year

The productivity of many Victorian builders was sorely tested during the 15-week lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne, according to the Independent Hardware Group’s (IHG) General Manager of Merchandise, Geoff Harris.

Trade Focus: TradeSmart store continues to evolve 30 years on

Centwest Engineering & Steel Supplies owners, Ian and Margaret Harris, have successfully operated their store in Longreach, Queensland – 1200 kilometres north west of Brisbane – for over 30 years and continue to grow and evolve their business to service the needs of local customers.

October 2020

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October 2020

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Outdoor projects & furniture restorations on trend this season

With the first COVID-19 lockdown now over and many states beginning to open their economies, Australian Brushware Marketing Manager, Michelle Wee said its Monarch accessories continue to experience strong sales, even with Stage Four restrictions imposed throughout metropolitan Melbourne over the last few months.

Supply chains diversification offers protection

As COVID-19 continues to interrupt power tool supply chains globally, hardware retailers are discovering the wisdom of carrying diverse brands to help offset the risk of supply shortages. JOHN POWER reports.

Paint Focus: Inspirations Paint greenfield site shoots up

Just five years ago, former painter and decorator Ben Ilacqua took a chance in his career and jumped into the retail game by taking on an Inspirations Paint greenfield site in the new suburb of Gregory Hills, located just over 60-kilometres south-west of Sydney. Inspirations Paint Gregory Hills has already grown to be one of the state’s top stores, and Ben was also recently appointed as the youngest member of the group’s Franchise Advisory Council.

September 2020

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September 2020

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High demand for fasteners and building products

The fasteners and building supplies space has adjusted and altered in many areas this year, including providing extra services to customers throughout the pandemic, having the ability to respond to increased consumer demand, while also seeing some suppliers move into the construction space, including Macsim Fastenings.

Aussie made trend benefits building materials

One trend that is evident throughout the building materials market is that consumers are opting for Australian made products over cheaper imports, which is great news for companies such as Cement Australia, who produce their product in both Queensland and Tasmania.

Retail Focus: Maddison Safety takes on multinationals

Maddison Safety celebrates its 30th birthday this October and owner, Tim Maddison, believes three decades of success is attributed to ongoing innovation within the business, as well as the formation of new business avenues. A good work ethic is also important and proven by Tim as he madly cut up elastics for his new environmentally friendly, Australian made masks on an electric heat cutter while chatting with AHJ recently.

August 2020

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August 2020

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COVID-19 brings consumers back to their Aussie roots

While it seems COVID-19 has developed a very pro-Australian sentiment in the retail marketplace over the last few months, the pandemic has also brought enormous levels of consumer engagement with the Australian Made logo as well. This engagement is particularly evident across social media platforms with the Campaign already recording a 300 per cent increase in engagement across its social media platforms, according to Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive Officer, Ben Lazzaro.

Haymes Paint – more than just a quality Aussie product

After 85 years in the business, one would think that Haymes Paint had endured and overcome most business obstacles, including major recessions and global wars. This was, of course, until COVID-19 was transmitted into Australia earlier this year.

Renovations drive timber in COVID climate

Although the timber market did slow down when COVID-19 initially took hold at the beginning of the year, areas of the building market, as well as the DIY market, have since begun to pick up again despite the pandemic.

Retail Focus: Cobargo Co-op survives catastrophic fires on NYE

New Year’s Day 2020 saw many Australians wake up to images of towns blackened by one of the most ferocious bush fires to ever take place in Australian history. The fires were particularly catastrophic around the NSW south-coast, Victoria’s south-east and South Australia.

Trade Focus: ‘M&B Sales’ goes blue after 50 years in the industry

As the largest independent timber and doors outlet in Western Australia and a business that has successfully serviced the residential and commercial housing sector for over five decades, M&B’s journey to the Mitre 10 brand has been a long and well-considered one.

June 2020

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June 2020

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Hardware industry leaders deliver COVID-19 update

AHJ recently touched base with several hardware industry leaders from the Independent Hardware Group (IHG), Hardware & Building Traders (HBT), Australian Industrial Supplies (AIS) and Construction Supply Specialists (CSS) to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on hardware independents to date, and also source specific plans for the future.

Retail Focus: Mesh & Masonry evolves through customer focussed formula

Mesh & Masonry Building and Industrial Supplies has served the regional town of Ballarat, in western Victoria, for over 30 years. In that time, owner Dean Candy says the business has evolved through constant reassessment of customer requirements, as well as evaluation of potential growth areas in-store.

May 2020

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May 2020

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Fasteners in a post-COVID-19 world

The best fasteners companies are preparing to ‘hit the ground running’ when COVID-19 eventually passes. JOHN POWER investigates.

Safety and security market grows during COVID-19

While COVID-19 has had a detrimental effect on much of the Australian economy, it seems the safety and security sector has only thrived since restrictions were first implemented. It is for this reason that several safety and security companies have not only continued business as usual, but have also launched innovative products within this growing segment.

Retail Focus: HBT branding refreshes popular timber store

Mountain Timbers H Hardware & Building Supplies is a well-established trade business that has successfully operated in Melbourne’s outer-eastern suburbs since the 1970s.

April 2020

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April 2020

Magazine Articles

COVID-19 survival kit for hardware retailers

Independent hardware retailers are now, more than ever, looking for ways to ensure their businesses stay afloat and healthy over the coming months as they tackle the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this special report, AHJ Editor, Christine Bannister, details strategies hardware retailers can implement in-store now to survive this unprecedented pandemic and how several independents are currently tackling this evolving situation.

Cleaning category climbs during COVID-19

There is no doubt the Australian cleaning category has experienced a significant rise in sales, in both industrial and domestic segments, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. In this special cleaning product feature, AHJ investigates how cleaning suppliers are coping with the current pandemic and how they intend to keep up supplies during this unprecedented time.

Retail Focus: Paint Place Warragul evolves over four decades

Paint Place Warragul is a shining star in the Paint Place Group, after the store recently completed a total re-vamp and continues to deliver expert advice from one of the most experienced teams in the business.

March 2020

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March 2020

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Building materials sector drives ‘safety first’

Suppliers in the Australian building materials sector are now, more than ever, working to ensure leading health issues within the industry are being addressed and the correct precautions are being taken – from the removal of asbestos, to the prevention of silicosis, and the right building materials utilised within bushfire zones.

COVID-19 causes dust mask shortages

The world awaits a vaccine for COVID-19 coronavirus, but in the meantime many people are choosing to protect themselves from infection by purchasing dust masks and respirators, leading to chronic shortages of supply. But do all masks protect against viruses? And are tradespeople able to get sufficient supplies?

Retail Focus: Permewans wins IHG’s HT&H Store of the Year Award

When Denise and Paul Bast originally bought their Thrifty-Link store in 2002, little did they know that 19 years on they would win IHG’s (Independent Hardware Group’s) Home Timber & Hardware Store of the Year Award, after completely transforming the store.

February 2020

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February 2020

Magazine Articles

Timber industry must add value

The latest wildfires to hit southeast Australia have pummeled the domestic timber industry. As John Power reports, timber production processes need a complete overhaul to remain viable.

Marketing high-tech products the smart way

Predicted to be one of the fastest growing retail categories this decade, the ‘smart homes and products’ category could see Australian households take on at least three to five smart home products within the next few years on average, according to market forecasts.

Retail focus: TradeTools expands into Cairns

TradeTools has not only just opened its eighteenth store in Far North Queensland, but also has two new stores in the pipeline which are scheduled to open in the next 12 months.