Author Archives: AHJ Editorial Team

Mi Watch Revolve, Mi Band 5 Are Rumored to Launch in India next Month

Xiaomi appears to be on a launch spree at the moment. It has already unveiled budget-centric Redmi 9 Prime and Redmi 9 over the past month and is gearing up to take the wraps off entry-level Redmi 9A and Mi TV Horizon Edition over the next week. That’s not all though. The Chinese giant is looking to further its lead in the wearables market with the launch of the Mi Band 5, as well as its first smartwatch – Mi Watch Revolve, in India.

As per the latest 91Mobiles report, via reliable tipster Ishan Agarwal, Xiaomi will soon launch the Mi Band 5 (successor to Mi Band 4) and the Mi Watch Revolve (rebranded Mi Watch Color from China) in India. The report does not reveal an exact timeline but the Chinese giant unveils its ecosystem products, including the new Mi Band, Mi TVs, security cameras, and more at a dedicated event in September each year.

Since Xiaomi is launching the Mi TV Horizon Edition at a standalone event, is there a possibility of its ecosystem product launch being delayed due to COVID-19? Or maybe, the Chinese giant will hold a standalone event to launch its first smartwatch in India.

Mi Watch Revolve: Specs & Features

This is not the first time we are hearing about the Mi Watch Revolve. We have already seen reports of Xiaomi looking to rebrand Mi Watch Color, launched in China earlier this year, as the Mi Watch Revolve for global markets. And now, it appears like India may be one of the first to witness its debut.

Mi Watch Color sports a 1.39-inch AMOLED touch display with a 454 x 454 resolution. It supports heart rate tracking, sleep monitoring, sedentary alerts, and all of the other features that you find aboard the Mi Band. Mi Watch Color includes a 420mAh battery, which the company claims will last up to 14 days. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters/ 5ATM and supports GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC.

mi watch color - xiaomi brand exapnsion in india

In China, the smartwatch is available to buy in three color variants – Black, Gold, and Silver. It was priced at CNY 799 (around Rs. 8,599) at launch but has already been marked down to CNY 599 (around Rs. 6,499) within just six months of launch.

Mi Band 5: Specs & Features

Mi Band 5 has already made its global debut in Europe a couple of months ago. The Mi Band is the successor to the Mi Band 4 (read comparison here) and brings some major refinements in tow. It now includes a bigger 1.1-inch color AMOLED touch display. It is 20% larger than its predecessor. You now also have six new sport modes, the much-awaited 24-hour sleep tracking feature, and women’s health tracking features as well.

mi band 5 launched

Mi Band 5 also fixes one of the biggest nuisances with the charging mechanism. You no longer to separate the primary pill from the band as Xiaomi has finally introduced magnetic charging with this fitness tracker. There’s no NFC, SpO2 sensor, and not even a voice assistant on board.

Keep your eyes peeled for an official announcement. We will update you once we learn more about the upcoming launch of the Mi Band 5 and Mi Watch Revolve in India.

Samsung Galaxy M51 Goes Official in Germany Ahead of Upcoming India Launch

Samsung has been teasing the launch of its upcoming M-series smartphone, the Galaxy M51, in India for the past week. We still don’t have an official launch date but Samsung has jumped the gun and quietly launched the Galaxy M51 in Germany. Yeah, it has gone official (via Twitter/MaxJmb) first in Germany with Snapdragon 730 chipset, 64MP quad-cameras, and a humongous 7,000mAh battery as rumored.

Galaxy M51: Specs & Features

Galaxy M51 boasts a glossy back panel in shiny white and black colorways. You get a modern design with a rectangular camera cutout, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera on the front.

The smartphone sports a 6.7-inch Full-HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-O display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 2400 x 1080 resolution. It is the same size panel as the Galaxy Note 20 that made its India debut just weeks ago.

Galaxy M51 is powered by an unknown octa-core processor, as per the product listing, but it’s rumored to be the Snapdragon 730 chipset. You will also find 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage, expandable up to 512GB using a microSD card. It runs Android 10-based OneUI 2.5 out-of-the-box.

As for the quad-cameras on the rear, you will find a 64MP (f/1.8) primary camera, a 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera with a 123-degree FOV, a 5MP depth camera, and a 5MP macro camera. The center punch-hole on the front houses a 32MP selfie camera, as revealed by previous leaks.

The highlight of the Galaxy M51 will, however, have to be the monstrous 7,000mAh battery pack. This battery size would be more than enough to last you two days on a single charge. Samsung also offers 25W fast-charging with this device, which is great.

Price and Availability

Galaxy M51 is currently up for pre-order in Germany at 360 euros (~Rs. 31,400) for the single 6GB+128GB variant. We can expect the India price of the device to be lower — at around Rs. 25,000, which appears to be perfect for the bezel-less display, gaming chipset, and a massive battery. Does this smartphone meet your expectation? Let us know in the comments below.

Nvidia Has Started Teasing Its Next-Gen RTX 3000 GPUs

Earlier this year, Nvidia unveiled its new GPU architecture, Ampere. At that particular event, the company announced Ampere powered datacenter processors, with no real information about consumer grade graphics cards. However, the company is finally going to unveil its new line up of RTX series GPUs on September 1. And today, it is teasing these upcoming GPUs just a little bit.

Nvidia posted a video on YouTube showcasing the design of the new GPUs, and focusing mostly on the thermal aspects of GPU design. The company didn’t reveal the new RTX 3000 series GPUs, obviously, but it talked a lot about the design philosophy, challenges with thermals, and more in the video.

One new tidbit of information from the video is that the new RTX 3000 GPUs will come with 12-pin power connector. As compared to the previous set up of two 8-pin power connectors, this will make the design slimmer. Nvidia also mentions that the new cards will be compatible with existing 8-pin connectors with an adapter.

As I mentioned, we don’t know a lot about these upcoming GPUs yet. However, leaks have been coming out, and it looks like the RTX 3000 series will be pretty huge.

Anyway, September 1 is not too far, so we don’t have to wait too long to find out all the details about Nvidia’s upcoming graphics cards and everything they offer.

Google Maps Now Organises Saved Places into Categories

Google Maps is improving the Saved tab with the latest update. The update is primarily focused on enhancing the usability of the feature with neat reminders. Saved tab now includes three sections namely Recently saved, Nearby saved, and Visited.

Thanks to this revamp, Google Maps will now organize all your recently saved places at the top of the Saved tab for quick access. Moreover, Maps will add a carousel of saved places in a ‘Recently saved’ section, as you can see below:

If you have switched on location permissions, Google Maps will automatically sort the nearby saved places by distance so that you can easily plan your trip accordingly. This should come in handy, especially for 1-day visits.

Another feature being added is a section for previously visited places. This is along with insights regarding the travel distance organized by time, city, region, or country. Again, the feature only works if you have turned on Location History.

Although people are relying less on Google Maps these days due to the pandemic, the company notes that users still utilize the Saved tab to wishlist places. According to Google, people have saved more than 7 billion places on Google Maps.

The top 10 most saved places in Maps are Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Kiyomizu-dera, Colosseum, La Sagrada Familia, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arc de Triomphe, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Buckingham Palace. Also, rising categories in saved places are national forests, rivers, ice cream shops, farms, coffee bean stores, waterfalls, rest shops, bike stores, free parking lots, and RV parks.

Google is rolling out these changes on Maps today. However, in typical Google fashion, it might take a few days before it reaches your smartphone.

Sony Xperia 5 II to Be Unveiled on September 17

Since most of the technology conventions are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sony will announce its next high-end Xperia smartphone at a standalone event. It will, of course, be a virtual event that’s scheduled for 9 AM CEST on 17th September.

Sony is expected to take the wraps off Xperia 5 II, the successor to its premium Xperia 5 smartphone that was unveiled in September last year. It was a compact variant of the Xperia 1 flagship, offering a 21:9 display and Snapdragon 855 in a smaller form factor.

The company has managed to keep the Xperia 5 II under wraps. The leaks have been scarce, with reliable tipster Evan Blass (better known as evleaks) giving us a first look at this device on his Patreon just yesterday. Xperia 5 II boasts a familiar design and just like last year, it looks like a compact version of Xperia 1 II (read as Xperia 1 Mark 2) that was unveiled earlier this year.

You will find a 21:9 Full-HD+ OLED display on the front, possibly smaller than last year’s tall 6.1-inch screen. The rear hosts a triple camera array with the ZEISS T* branding, excluding the ToF sensor from the Xperia 1 II’s camera setup. This means you will most likely have a 12MP primary, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP telephoto lens aboard this phone. The 8MP selfie camera will be housed in the slim top bezel on the front.

If you look at the renders on Blass’ Patreon, you will find a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and a dedicated camera shutter button along with the power and volume keys on the right edge. The specs for the Xperia 5 II haven’t leaked online. But, we expect the device to include the Snapdragon 865 chipset under the hood. It will be coupled with up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of built-in storage, and a slightly larger battery compared to Xperia 1 II in tow.

We will learn the official details of the Xperia 5 II, including its price and availability details, during the virtual event next month. So, stay tuned for more information.

Takasho announces new Account Manager

Takasho announces new Account Manager


Fred De Haan is Takasho Australasia’s newly appointed National Account Manager.

Takasho Australasia recently announced the appointment of Fred De Haan as the company’s newly appointed National Account Manager.

Commencing his new position on July 15, Fred comes to Takasho having held various sales and business management roles within the garden and hardware industry over many years.

Fred is also well known and respected amongst his colleagues and customers, with his most recent role being National Field Sales Manager with Neta (Husqvarna Group). Fred said he was thrilled to be offered the role at Takasho.

“The new range of products that were presented to me that are now arriving into the warehouse are just stunning, and fresh into our market. I am really looking forward to working alongside the close team at Takasho and getting out to see my customers and helping them grow their business with our new and unique products,” Fred said.

Victorian/Tasmanian Hardware Industry Awards

Victorian/Tasmanian Hardware Industry Awards


On October 22, the hardware industry of Victoria and Tasmania came together for its yearly night of nights with the hosting of its 2016 Victorian/Tasmanian Hardware Industry Awards.

The room was packed to capacity to enjoy with guests not only treated to a night of awards, but also entertainment and fine dining at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne.

30+ Years’ Service Awards

This year also saw the inaugural awarding of 30+ Years’ Service Awards. These awards recognise recipients who have achieved over 30 years in the industry and saw a mix of sales representatives, employees, managers and business owners all being acknowledged by the industry. The prestigious award was awarded to:

Bob Kershaw Ocean Grove Hardware
Robert Patterson Gisborne Hardware
Idilio Amora Mitre 10  – Caulfield
Peter  & Sue Moore Inglewood Hardware
Michael Green Doncaster Mitre 10
Doreen Brown TM & H Home Hardware  – Moe
30+ years of service recipients

Recipients of the 30+ Years’ of Service Awards.

Supplier award winners

Award winning suppliers were also announced on the night in the categories of bathroom, building, timber, electrical, hardware, paint & accessories, tools, garden & outdoor living, as well as Overall Supplier of the Year. Supplier of the Year Awards were presented to:

Supplier of the Year Bathroom Interbath
Supplier of the Year Building Mapei
Supplier of the Year Timber ITI
Supplier of the Year Electrical HPM
Supplier of the Year Hardware ITW
Supplier of the Year Paint & Accessories Dulux
Supplier of the Year Tools Sutton Tools
Supplier of the Year Garden & Outdoor Yates
Overall Supplier of the Year   Yates
Bathroom supplier of the year - Interbath final

Tynan Murry, Airco Brands’ Victorian manager accepts Bathroom Supplier of the Year Award for Interbath, presented by Mitre 10’s Greg McKean.

Building supplier of the year - Mapei

Catherine Callaway of Mapei accepts the Building Supplier of the Year Award, presented by Mitre 10’s Greg McKean.

Garden and outdoor supplier of the year - Yates

David Cripps of Yates (R) accepts the Garden & Outdoor Supplier of the Year Award from HTH Vic/TAS regional manager HTH, Tony McGeorge.

Hardware products supplier of the year - ITW

Andrew Coffey of ITW Proline (R) accepts the Hardware Supplier of the Year Award from HTH Vic/TAS regional manager HTH, Tony McGeorge .

Paint and accessories supplier of the year - Dulux

Dulux Victorian manager, Colin Jeoll (R) accepts the Paint and Accessories Supplier of the Year Award from Mitre 10’s Greg McKean.

tools supplier of the year - Sutton tools

Ben Williams of Sutton Tools accepts Tools and Accessories Supplier of the Year Award, presented by HTH Vic/TAS regional manager HTH, Tony McGeorge.

Overall supplier of the year award

David Cripps of Yates (R) accepts the Overall Supplier of the Year Award from HA chair, Ian Cornwell HA Chair.

Sales Representative of the Year

The Lou Turco Sales Representative of the year Award was this year sponsored by Sutton Tools and was awarded to Jenny Davies from Trio Australia.

sales rep of the year

Jenny Davies of Trio Australia accepts the Sales Representative of the Year Award from Ben Williams of Sutton tools.

Jenny won the award against some tough competition and during her acceptance speech, Jenny said she was completely stunned by the win. Jenny also said she was very thankful to Trio as a company for their support.

Store of the Year Awards

The Store of the Year Awards were again a hotly contested category of awards, with this year’s finalists and winners being:

Small Store (under 1000sqm) sponsored by Seasol International

Ocean Grove Home Hardware – Winner
Inglewood Mitre 10 – Finalist
Richies Mitre 10 – Finalist
Numurkah Home Hardware- Finalist
Limos Home Hardware- Finalist
Small store of the Year - Ocean Grove Hardware

Paul Drake of Ocean Grove Home Hardware accepts the Small Store of the Year Award from Robyn Stewart of Seasol.


Medium Store (1000sqm – 2500sqm) sponsored by ITW Proline

Wells Mitre 10  – Latrobe – Winner
Peters Mitre 10  – Caulfield – Finalist
Daylesford Mitre 10 – Finalist
Provan’s Home Hardware – Finalist
Medium store of the Year - Wells Mitre 10 - Latrobe

Steve Longmore of Wells Mitre 10 La Trobe accept the Medium Store of the Year Award from Andrew Coffey, ITW Proline.


Large Store (over 2500sqm) sponsored by Valspar

Diamond Valley Mitre 10 – Winner
Richmond Mitre 10 – Finalist
Womersley’s Mitre 10 – Chelsea – Finalist
Beaconsfield Home Timber & Hardware – Finalist
TM & H Home Timber & Hardware – Moe – Finalist
Holts Mitre 10 – Finalist
Large store of the year award - Diamond Valley Mitre 10

Paige O’Connor of Diamond Valley Mitre 10 accepts Large Store of the Year Award from Constance Bram of Valspar.

It was especially exciting to see Wells Mitre 10 Latrobe in Tasmania feature in the winning stores, with the store owners travelling from interstate, to attend the awards night and accept the award, according to Hardware Australia’s executive officer, Scott Wiseman.

Employee of the Year

Sponsored by REST Industry Super, the Employee of the Year award was presented to Jessica Mauro of Doncaster Mitre 10. Jessica is Doncaster Mitre 10’s paint manager, and is described as their ‘Jill of all trades’ with six and half years’ building understanding across many departments. Jessica was honoured and humbled to have been nominated and was ecstatic to have won and receive the $500 cash.


The finalists were:

Michael Bell Ocean Grove Hardware
Tony Kenshole Diamond Valley Mitre 10
Employee of the year finalist - Jessica Mauro

Employee of the Year award was presented to Jessica Mauro of Doncaster Mitre 10, by Hardware Australia chief executive, Scott Wiseman.


Rising Star of the Year 2016

Sponsored by National Retail Association, the 2016 Rising Star of the Year Award was presented to James Domaille of Doncaster Mitre 10. James took home not only $500 cash, but also a $4000 training voucher to further his development and will represent Victoria in the National Hardware Awards in early 2017.

The finalists were:

Emma Steuten Diamond Valley Mitre 10
Thomas Webb Ocean Grove Hardware
Rising Star award - James Domaille

James Domaille of Doncaster Mitre 10 accepts the Rising Star of the Year Award 2016 from the National Retail Association’s Troy Wild.

Hardware Legend Award

Sponsored by Dulux, the major award of the night, the Hardware Legend award, saw Colin Jeoll from Dulux presenting Barry Fagg – Fagg’s Mitre 10 with the award. Barry was acknowledged for a lifetime in the industry and his outstanding contribution to Mitre 10 over many years.

Barry is part of the fourth generation of the family to devote a lifetime to the hardware industry and has successfully carried on the traditions of his Geelong business, which has over 160 years of history.

The Fagg’s business is one of the longest running family businesses in Victoria and the eighth oldest family business in Australia. After a career in accounting, Barry joined the business full time in 1980, together with his younger brother Keith. Backed by the support from the company board, the brothers grew the business from two stores to five, and now has stores in South Geelong, North Geelong, Wallington, Torquay, Colac and more recently in a joint venture with Mitre 10.

Barry was a director within the Mitre 10 group including Mitre 10 Southern Region and Mitre 10 South West from 1987-2004, and served on various committees during this time. In 2000 he became an inaugural board member of Mitre 10 and was chairman of the board from 2002-2004.

Barry is most proud of working together with his brother to successfully continue and grow the family business for over 35 years and his accomplishments as national chairman of Mitre 10.

Over his time in the industry, Barry notes the introduction of big box hardware retailing and computerisation as among the major changes to how we do business and also welcomes the involvement of Metcash in the industry as part of securing the future of independent hardware operators.  He believes we will continue to see the consolidating of independents who will survive by being specialist in their areas and in serving niche markets.

When accepting the award, Barry paid special tribute to his family, his brother who he works closely with and to his wife, who has visited thousands of hardware stores all around the world.

Hardware Legend Award - Barry Fagg

Colin Jeoll from Dulux presents Barry Fagg, of Fagg’s Mitre 10 with the Hardware Legend Award.


Hardware Australia’s executive officer, Scott Wiseman, said the night was a great success as a celebration of our great industry and the special people who are passionate, dedicated and genuinely love hardware.

Hardware Australia also thanked its sponsors on the night including:

Gold Sponsor:  Dulux, Sutton Tools and REST Industry Super

Silver Sponsors: Mitre 10, ITW Proline, HTH, Valspar, Seasol International

Bronze Sponsors: National Retail Association

Media Supporter: Australian Hardware Journal

“Please remember to support these companies who generously support these industry events,” Mr Wiseman said.


Over $2 million dollars spent at AIS trade show

Over $2 million dollars spent at AIS trade show

AIS topped off a successful week at its 2016 annual Annual General Meeting and Trade Show Conference, by breaking the $2 million barrier on purchases with suppliers at its annual trade show, held in Melbourne in September.

The week began with the customary AGM, where all of the AIS Shareholders attending are presented with a summary of the business activity for 2016 and the forward company strategy for 2017.

AIS group general manager (GGM), Stephen Wallace, said that the AGM is a vitally important part of business because it is an opportunity for all shareholders to truly understand what is going on in the independent group they are part of.

“AIS had a breakthrough year on a number of fronts, not all of which may be easily presented in shareholder updates. This event allows each shareholder an opportunity to openly discuss the direction of the company, and if required, vote on key strategies to move the group forward,” Mr Wallace said.

While the group has struggled to maintain its shareholder base over the last three years, it is pretty clear that the shareholders that remain, are forming a solid foundation by working much more closely together, Mr Wallace said.

“The essence of an independent group is to have the ability to join together to maximise your buying and selling opportunities. With AIS, we deliver this on more fronts than other groups; with our key buying power across the industrial suppliers and our ability to continue to drive demand into our shareholders stores with our marketing program,” he said.

One of the big successes of the AGM this year was a workshop on buying collectively, according to Mr Wallace, who said the workshop was very rewarding and allowed all of the AIS Shareholders to come together and enjoy a fun filled strategic session.

“In 2016 our group has grown its purchases with AIS contracted suppliers with fewer shareholders than the previous year. This says a lot about the deals that were offered to shareholders and the value our marketing program brings each of them. They would not be purchasing the product if there wasn’t demand for it,” Mr Wallace said.

“In 2017 we believe we can do even better than last year if our shareholders embrace the collective buying power even more and the workshops helped shareholders to embrace that ethos,” he said.

Mr Wallace also commented on the growth of the sales data project that is now delivering results through the group.

“To truly operate a marketing program that delivers, many things need to be in place. Your stores need to manage and improve on their retail disciplines, while the support office needs to deliver on key buying opportunities that are not only attractive for our shareholders, but also for the end customer. To do this you need to understand what product you are selling, when you are selling it and how many of them you are selling. If you do not have this basic information, then you are just flying blind and your stores will not achieve the outcomes they are looking for,” he said.

“The implementation of this project at the end of 2014 has allowed our support office to understand the product and buying demands of the group. This will ultimately provide AIS shareholders with more return from each of the marketing campaigns and better buying opportunities in the future,” Mr Wallace said.

Supplier breakfast

Following on from the AGM on Thursday, Friday was a jam packed day of engagement. The day kicked off early with the supplier breakfast. Suppliers enjoyed a full catered breakfast, while Mr Wallace presented (with his category team) the key strategy for the coming year while.

During the presentation Mr Wallace noted that, “our key preferred supplier’s partners are critical in the shareholder and support Office relationship. Our aim is to continue to provide value for our key supplier partners across a number of different metrics. We have and will continue to deliver their brands and products out to over 2.5 million readers each year with our promotional catalogues and over 2.1 million email recipients with our extended e–marketing campaigns. We believe collectively we deliver more to suppliers than other groups on this front.

“One of the key initiatives with our suppliers in the coming year will be a focus on training. AIS shareholders are experts in their fields, but to do this, they need to remain up-to-date with the changing market, industry and product trends. In 2017 our focus is to collectively deliver a training program that our shareholders can engage with, and a program that our key supplier partners will benefit from. This will ultimately lead to more purchases of suppliers’ products and increased returns for our shareholders,” he said.

Trade show

After the breakfast, shareholders engaged with the key suppliers at the annual trade show which was held at the Mooney Valley Racecourse, in Melbourne. The trade show is an all-day event and a key part of the year for both shareholders and suppliers. The annual event reached a record high in purchases on the day for 2015, so all eyes were on the 2016 event results.

With a record percentage of shareholders attending, there was all possibility for improved purchases on the day.

“To get the most out of a trade show you have to bring great deals on the day. Suppliers have done that this year and our shareholders have acknowledged this by their attendance and their purchases. Some suppliers commented that even before lunch on Friday their purchases from the group on the day were over the previous year. By close of business many were commenting that AIS had delivered a larger amount of purchases than any of the other independent groups at a trade show event this year. That is a big rap for a group like ours,” Mr Wallace said.

Gala awards

Group general manager, Stephen Wallace; Small to Medium Format Shareholder of the Year award winners Peter Dyson and Karyn Dyson Shareholders from C & J Engineering and company chairman, Dean Candy.

The finale to the entire week was Gala Awards Dinner held at the Langham Hotel Grand Ballroom, Melbourne on the Friday night. With key awards including Supplier of the Year, Small/ Medium Format Shareholder of the Year, Large Format Shareholder of the Year, and the charity auction, MC Brett Rutledge (procured for the fourth year), kept the program running smoothly as always.

Large Format Shareholder of the Year

Large format shareholder of the year) Group general manager, Stephen Wallace; Large Format Shareholder of the Year award winner Bevan Branson of Alltools Geelong Pty Ltd and company chairman, Dean Candy.

MC Brett Rutledge

MC Brett Rutledge with Dr Mark Cruickshank – Senior Researcher representing the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation.

“Recognising excellence is something that we feel obligated to do each year. Those who put in the effort can help lead others to achieve improved results in the future and the awards ceremony allow us to acknowledge who we believed were the best of the best. We are also proud to be once again associated with the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation, of which Justin Langer is the patron for, as our chosen Charity for 2016,” Mr Wallace said.

“Our shareholders independently support many local charities and community groups which is part of being locally owned and operated, so it is great to be able to offer something from the whole group to this important charity. Over the last four years we have raised over $70,000 for Australian charities and are looking to ask our guests tonight to reach into their pockets one more time and support this organisation,” he said.

Presenting for the charity was Dr Mark Cruickshank, who with Brett Rutledge took the guests through the important work the foundation is doing to find cures for such debilitating diseases.

The auction was held across four prize packs, with the auction providing a lot of fun and enjoyment for all, while the quick witted wordsmith, MC Brett Rutledge, added significant humour to the auction. At the conclusion of the auction, Dr Cruickshank received a cheque for $11,250.00. In addition the auction table donations were accepted on the night and the group finished with a total value of donations of $19,102.55.

Charity Presentation

Group general manager, Stephen Wallace with Dr Mark Cruickshank – Senior Researcher representing Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation accepts the cheque, with company chairman, Dean Candy.

With the event at a close Mr Wallace indicated that they are well underway in planning for the 2017, event which will be AIS’s 20th anniversary. The Gold Coast is the chosen location for the week’s event. Changes to the normal week plan will be occurring with an extra day of engagement for suppliers and shareholders. Mr Wallace believes it will be another successful event for the group.

Supplier of the Year

Group general manager, with Supplier of the Year award winners Michael Brendle – Techtronics Industries (Aust) Pty Ltd (Milwaukee) and Joe Mancuso – Techtronics Industries (Aust) Pty Ltd (Milwaukee), with company chairman

Supplier Stand of the Year

Group general manager Stephen Wallace, with Supplier Stand of the Year award winner Leigh Royle from the Sheffield Group, and company chairman, Dean Candy.

Outgoing Director Dean Hall

Outgoing director Dean Hall with company chairman, Dean Candy.


Total Tools Supplier Conference 2016 – Cairns

Total Tools Supplier Conference 2016 – Cairns

The 2016 Total Tools Supplier Conference was held in the tropical surrounds of Cairns at the Shangri La Hotel, from September 5 to 8. With over 180 in attendance, including suppliers, franchisees, store managers and support office staff, the conference was a buzz of excitement from beginning to end.

Following a year of rapid growth, the Total Tools network now boasts 56 stores in total, and as such, there was a substantial amount of content to get through over the four days that the conference was held. With such a full agenda, there was no time to lose and no sooner had the 180 delegates landed, they were served lunch and whisked off to the first official conference session, which was an address from Total Tools’ chairman, Warren Jones. Day one also saw platinum sponsors, Milwaukee and Bosch, take centre stage to showcase future road maps to attendees. Th e Milwaukee and Bosch teams then had the opportunity to connect with the network in a less formal manner at the Platinum Sponsor Dinner that night. The agenda was at its peak on day two, which saw the bulk of conference sessions covering importing, merchandising and marketing. However, the day also included an inspirational ‘management’ session, led by motivational guest speaker, Rachael Robertson, who was the youngest woman to lead an expedition team to Davis Station in Antarctica. Concluding the day’s formalities was the traditional Gold Sponsor Rotating Dinner, which saw the group enjoy pre-dinner drinks and canapés upon a private yacht thanks to Apex Tools. Attendees were then split in half where they enjoyed entrées, mains and desserts in two different venues, each hosted by a different supplier – Makita and Saint Gobain.
Day three began with the supplier breakfast, which included a presentation from chief executive offi cer, Tim Cockayne, while franchisees were treated to the Gold Sponsor
presentations from Stanley Black & Decker (Dewalt) and Werner. Th e official golf tournament proceeded the Gold Sponsor presentations, and include the now renowned ‘loud pants’ contest.

Total Tools Awards Dinner
After a full day of golfing, and loud pants, the Total Tools Awards night and gala dinner was a welcomed change of pace, which included a three course meal and entertainment from well know Australian performer Paul McDermott and international comedian Arj Barker. The night also included the much anticipated Supplier and Franchisee Awards Ceremony.

2016 Geoff Patnaude Rep of the Year KickinGolf day 1g off proceedings was the Geoff Patnaude award, which is named in honour of one of the founding members of the Total Tools group and who also is an advocate for the importance of building strong relationships with key sales representatives to bring true value to businesses “There is a set criteria when choosing the winner for Rep of the Year, which includes: management of inventory, merchandising of stock, training is particularly important for stores, regular call

cycles and certainly support for a store’s key local events,” said Nicole Bemelmans, Total Tools general manager of merchandise and marketing. Winner of the 2016 Geoff Patnaude Rep of the Year was awarded to Evan Jeffery – Bosch Australia (QLD).

Supplier of the Year Awards “Total Tools would not be in the position that it is today, as Australia’s number one professional tools retailer, if it was not for the support of the suppliers in the room” Mrs Bemelmans said. “Again there is certain criteria that needs to be met to win this award, which amongst others includes sales growth. Important criteria, in addition to sales, is margin and innovation,” she said.


Supplier Of the Year - T2

(L-R) – Total Tools CEO Tim Cockayne presented the Supplier of the Year Award – Tier Two to Kate and Mark Hunter from Spot-On Tools, along with Total Tools general manager of merchandise and marketing, Nicole Bemelmans.

(L-R) - Total Tools CEO Tim Cockayne presented Supplier of the Year Award - Tier One (Top 10 Category) to Milwaukee group managing director, Mike Brendle; Milwaukee national key account manager, Greg Osmond; Milwaukee senior product manager, Sam Nogueira of Techtronic Industries (Milwaukee), along with Total Tools general manager of merchandise and marketing, Nicole Bemelmans.

(L-R) – Total Tools CEO Tim Cockayne presented Supplier of the Year Award – Tier One (Top 10 Category) to Milwaukee group managing director, Mike Brendle; Milwaukee national key account manager, Greg Osmond; Milwaukee senior product manager, Sam Nogueira of Techtronic Industries (Milwaukee), along with Total Tools general manager of merchandise and marketing, Nicole Bemelmans.

Supplier of the Year Award – Tier Two, was awarded to Kate and Mark Hunter
from Spot-On Tools. Mark and Kate were particularly con- gratulated for their overall service and support to Total Tools members, not to mention their recent 42 per cent growth.


Second Tier Supplier of the Year Award Runner up – Ben Pevreall and Mick Hogan from Husqvarna Construction Products Second Runner up – Scott Douglas and Ron Garlepp from Werner Co. Australia Supplier of the Year Awards – Tier One Award (Top 10 Category) was presented to Techtronic Industries (Milwaukee). Milwaukee was particularly congratulated not only for its attention to detail from a store perspective, but also for working
closely with the support office. “They are one of our strategic partners and they are clearly committed to investing in the marketing of their brand. Milwaukee’s marketing to the end user is also second to none and this is what is driving the significant growth that we continue to enjoy from Milwaukee Power Tools,” Mrs Bemelmans said.

(L-R) – The 2016 Geoff Patnaude Rep of the Year Award was presented to Bosch Australia’s (QLD) Evan Jeffery by Geoff Patnaude’s sons, Alex and Chris Patnaude.

(L-R) – The 2016 Geoff Patnaude Rep of the Year Award was presented to Bosch Australia’s (QLD) Evan Jeffery by Geoff Patnaude’s sons, Alex and Chris Patnaude.

Top 10 Category – Supplier of the Year Award 2016 – Tier one Runner up – Andrew Cronin – Makita Power Tools Second runner up – Blair Brydon – Tooltechnic Systems – Festool Australia
Rookie Franchisee of the Year Award 2016 The Rookie Franchisee of the Year Award was introduced to recognise excellence amongst ‘new’ stores that have been open for less than three years, and which also have a full trading year under their belts. Mr Cockayne said Total Tools has some great new stores, with eight stores opening in the last financial year and two more in the last couple of months.
“We have had a lot of new stores coming on and everyone knows we are up to 56, so there are quite a number of people who were eligible this year,” he said.

Second Runner Up Rookie Franchisee of the Year Award 2016 – Total Tools Mitcham – Russell and Lily Taylor
Although the Mitcham store had a few obstacles to get over in the early days, the store’s first full year of trading was fantastic, according to Mr Cockayne.
First Runner Up Rookie Franchisee of the Year Award 2016 – Total Tools Wingfield – Brian Rousseau
Mr Cockayne said he remembered when Brian first came into the business, he certainly did not come in knowing all about tools and tradesmen, but he does know about numbers and spreadsheets.
“Brian really had a great year this year, and is without a doubt the best in the group at retail stock management,” Mr Cockayne said.
Rookie Franchisee of the Year Award 2016 – Total Tools Gregory Hills – Shaun Hindley
“Total Tools Gregory Hills has had a magnificent year,” according to Mr Cockayne, who said, in its very first full year of trading, the store exceeded all expectations.
“In the very first full year this store has entered the top 20 list within the group,” Mr Cockayne said.

Most Improved Franchise Store Award 2016
Award presentations then moved onto Most Improved Franchise Store Award 2016, with Mr Cockayne revealing that this award was specifically developed to recognise stores that have made substantial changes within their businesses, which may include expanding the store, relocating or growing the business.
“The weighing of this award is very much factored along growth and change. We also ensure that compliance is included as well,” he said.

(L-R) – Total Tools operations manager, Scott Fitzgerald; Rookie Franchisee of the Year Award 2016 winners Marty Andrew (store manager), franchisees Tina and Shaun Hindley of Total Tools CEO Total Tools Gregory Hills, with Total Tools CEO, Tim Cockayne.

(L-R) – Total Tools operations manager, Scott Fitzgerald; Rookie Franchisee of the Year Award 2016 winners Marty Andrew (store manager), franchisees Tina and Shaun Hindley of Total Tools CEO Total Tools Gregory Hills, with Total Tools CEO, Tim Cockayne.

(L-R) – Total Tools Operations Manager, Scott Fitzgerald; Most Improved Franchise Store Award 2016 winner Mark Timbs of Total Tools Coopers Plains, with Total Tools CEO, Tim Cockayne.

(L-R) – Total Tools Operations Manager, Scott Fitzgerald; Most Improved Franchise Store Award 2016 winner Mark Timbs of Total Tools Coopers Plains, with Total Tools CEO, Tim Cockayne.

Most Improved Franchise Store Award 2016 – Second Runner Up – Total Tools Lonsdale – Jeremy Atkinson
“Although this store grew really well as a business, Jeremy still did not believe that building a bigger store would be the right way to go. Anyway it took him a long time, but he finally went out and built a big store, and it is now going really well,” Mr Cockayne said.

Most Improved Franchise Store Award 2016 – First Runner Up – Total Tools Ballarat – Tim Feldman
“This is a store that has been around for about five years and has continually performed during this time. And yet, it is able to win the award for the most improved store, even after it has already hit such high levels. But I suppose the reality is that the type of person that runs this store consistently shows the type of drive you need to have in your business. To me Total Tools Ballarat is one of the best stores going around and I certainly can’t congratulate Tim enough,” Mr Cockayne said.

Most Improved Franchise Store Award 2016 – Total Tools Coopers Plains – Phil and Mark Timbs
Store owners, Phil and Mark, already owned a store in Sydney, but decided to take the big step of moving to Queensland and opening Total Tools Cooper’s Plains, Mr Cockayne said.
“Phil is in his late 60s and relocated his whole life to move to Brisbane, which is a massive step. Mark also relocated his life and went up there with a young family. It would be fair to say the store did not take off initially, but it gradually built up over time,” Mr Cockayne said.
“The one reason it did build is that number one; they continued to believe in the business, and number two; they worked bloody harder than most other people. For me to see the success that they are achieving, I think this is great not only for them, but for Total Tools,” he said.
Store owner, Mark Timbs, said one of his dad’s favourite sayings was ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get.’ “This is certainly true because we do work really hard and we are so proud to win this award today,” Mark said.

Franchise Store of the Year Award 2016
It really is the Holy Grail to achieve the Store of the Year Award, according to Mr Cockayne, who said to be a contender for the award, the store needs to tick every award criteria box to even be in the running.
The award winner has to perform well in every element. It is amazing how between first and fifth place winners, the gap is so small,” Mr Cockayne said.
“What I do see is a lot of the same offenders up in that top ten because they basically do everything right; they follow the model and I think that is the thing that makes these stores stand out,” Mr Cockayne.

(L-R) – Total Tools operations manager Scott Fitzgerald, Franchise Store of the Year Award 2016 award winners Jeremy & Carolyn Atkinson of Total Tools Lonsdale, along with Total Tools CEO Tim Cockayne.

(L-R) – Total Tools operations manager Scott Fitzgerald, Franchise Store of the Year Award 2016 award winners Jeremy & Carolyn Atkinson of Total Tools Lonsdale, along with Total Tools CEO Tim Cockayne.

Franchise Store of the Year Award 2016 – Second Runner Up – Total Tools Brooklyn – Warren Jones
“This award winner was a bit of surprise; probably because to me the store is a little bit tired. But when you look at the criteria, Total Tools Brooklyn has good margin, high penetration of exclusive brands, high compliance, great mystery shopping, and all the basic things that follow the model. It is a mature business and it is about to relocate and we certainly look forward to that,” Mr Cockayne said.
Franchise Store of the Year Award 2016 First Runner Up – Total Tools Ballarat – Tim Feldman
This is a store that continually performs and has been around for some time, Mr Cockayne said.
“Total Tools Ballarat has continued to be one of the best retail stores, not just in our group but I think in Australia. I have spent my life in retailing and I tell you this guy is one of the best retailers I have ever worked with and he runs a fantastic business,” he said.

Franchise Store of the Year Award 2016 – Total Tools Lonsdale
To win an award like this obviously takes a lot of effort, according to Mr Cockayne, who said Jeremy of Total Tools Lonsdale, runs a great business but he just did not know if he really wanted to go into this bigger store.
“I think he talked himself into the larger store and all of a sudden he made a decision, bought a block of land and committed to building the store. Since this time Jeremy has had record sales each month, while his sales in each of the last nine months is also at a record high. Prior to this it would be fair to say that his business stagnated, for probably five years. So this shows that the model works, that expanding and making sure you have got the best offer possible for the customer, not only helps you to get a better business but also helps the customer,” Mr Cockayne said.
Store owner, Jeremy Atkinson, thanked all of the support office staff and said the work the team puts in is phenomenal.
“I have been into meetings and these guys at head office are there at 7am and I leave sometimes and they are still there at 7pm. These guys bleed for us and this is part of our success as well. The culture that is built within Total Tools was built long before I come along and I just hope this continues because we really do appreciate everything that support office does. To all the suppliers, I couldn’t be there without you guys. You guys also do a terrific job in supporting us at Lonsdale. When we moved, it was exceptional the amount of work that a lot of you guys put in and you really did look after us to make sure that we got up and running,” Jeremy said.

Showcase Expo
The fourth, and official last day of the conference saw the commencement of the Supplier Showcase Expo, which had over 35 suppliers showcase their latest and most popular products throughout the day. The shotgun start meant that every franchisee got to see and spend time with every supplier, negotiating deals for the remainder of the year.
On the final day of the conference, all were in agreement that the 2016 Total Tools Supplier Conference had not only been a great success, but also extremely productive with suppliers and franchisees taking plenty of good advice back to their businesses.




Spectacular scale and selection

Once again, spoga+gafa impressed with its sheer scale and vast array of products. Held in Cologne, Germany, the annual event saw a huge 39,000 visitors attend from 106 countries – a six per cent increase in numbers following last year.

Rachael Blake attended spoga+gafa for Greenworld magazine, reporting that there was a buzz in the air as visitors walked throughout the 225,000 square metres of stands and displays which were spread over nine halls. The event, which took place from September 4 – 6, showcased a vast array of products from barbeques, tools and garden décor to bee hotels, plants and sheds. With such selection in product categories, spoga catered not only to garden centres and retailers, but also to dealers, hardware outlets and warehouse style stores, which carry products for a range of DIY, home and garden purposes. Categories featured at spoga+gafa included garden living, garden unique (top brands in the outdoor living section), garden creation and care, as well as garden barbeque.IMG_0843

Companies showcased their latest products, conducted demonstrations and displayed product marketing ideas to potential stockists. The barbeque hall particularly enticed visitors, as smells from cooking demonstrations drifted throughout the stands. Importantly, spoga not only provided companies with a platform to showcase and demonstrate their latest products, but also served as an opportunity to catch up with a global network. According to Rachael, the networking opportunities for visitors were endless, with a total of 2,032 companies from 57 countries exhibiting.

Industry representatives have confirmed that the event was positively received and that organisers were pleased with the results. Furthermore, the success of the event points to a positive upcoming season, particularly with the range of new products and level of innovation on display at the trade fair.IMG_0821

On behalf of the associations participating in spoga+gafa, Frank Miedaner, managing director Germany and chairman of the spoga+gafa advisory board said, “spoga+gafa is an important trendsetter for the industry. The good frequency of visitors in the exhibition halls impressively substantiated that this year. The high share of international visitors is also extremely positive. Furthermore, the high-quality visitor structure had a very positive effect on the mood in the exhibition halls. In total, spoga+gafa 2016 was a fantastic, successful new products show. The high degree of the product innovations exhibited will have a very positive influence on the spring business.”

spoga+gafa will be held again in 2017 at Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany from September 3 – 5. For more information, visit: