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History

1960

The H&G family story begins here

1960 – In the beginning

Hardware & General Supplies Pty. Ltd., acquired the business of Craig’s Building Supplies, conducted at 702-4 Pittwater Road, Brookvale, on September 5 this year. However, the company continued to trade under the store’s former name until today, when Hardware & General Supplies Limited officially became the new trading name.

Directors of this progressive company are a group of widely experienced businessmen.

They are; Mr H. G. Hyde of Wahroonga, who is Chairman of Directors; Mr J. W. Hinks of Killara and Mr W.J. MacGregor (pictured) of Oxford Falls.

Mr MacGregor is also the Secretary of the Company. He is keeping, very closely, in touch with the day-to-day management of the shop.

The company had decided to start trading in Brookvale because they had great faith in the area. He pointed out that development taking place on all four sides of Brookvale, strongly indicated it would have a great commercial, and industrial future – Mr. MacGregor said.

HARDWARE & BUILDING GROWTH IN 1960

1961

Acquired the property 74 Winbourne Road, Brookvale for use as a store for cement and bulky builders materials.

1964

Opened Building and Plumbing Supplies Store at 74 Winbourne Road, Brookvale after erecting a building thereon.

1965

Commenced selling Bathroom, Kitchen & Laundry Appliances from 1st Floor, 702-704 Pittwater Road, Brookvale.

1967

Opened an Industrial Supplies Department to service local industry on 1st Floor, 702-704 Pittwater Road, Brookvale.

1970 FOCUS ON SERVICE

Expansion of range and services

H&G values its reputation for honest trading, and this goes hand in hand with its policy to supply goods at competitive prices. Its customer service policy includes prompt deliveries, and its fleet of the vehicle ensures that the Company’s service in this respect cannot be bettered anywhere. “Customer Goodwill” is of the greatest importance to us and something we will seek to maintain and build. H&G Anniversary Catalogue, 1973 page 3

1971

Accommodating for the increase in telephone calls, Hardware & General upgrades to a rotary exchange system, introducing the one-call number of 939-1188

Service Representatives

H&G becomes the area’s leading builders’ supplier because it recognises the needs of builders and caters for those needs. The business employs 6 representatives to service builders and tradespeople on the job.

1979

Moved Bathroom and Kitchen Appliances from 1st Floor, 702-704 Pittwater Road to leased premises at 72 Winbourne Road, Brookvale.

1980

The next generation

The 1980s was the decade which opened even more doors for the future of Hardware & General with the employment of the next generation of MacGregor’s. Miss Judith MacGregor, the youngest daughter, joined the business after taking her high school certificate and is employed as a clerk, coding and batching debtor’s invoices. Mr Peter MacGregor, the youngest son, also joined after completion of his High School Certificate and is a Salesperson in the shop at 702-704 Pittwater Road. Mr Geoff MacGregor has worked Saturday mornings in the Paint and hardware shop for 11 years, before leaving a career as a bank officer with the National Bank to join the business fulltime as Executive Director in July 1985. Mr Philip MacGregor, the eldest son, also joins the company in July 1985, being appointed Assistant Managing Director, following his carer as a Chartered Accountant. “we see a pretty bright future for the company” Says Philip. Extract from H&G Silver Jubilee Anniversary editorial, The Manly Daily 1985.
Geoff (left) and Philip (right) join H&G July 1985
1980S DEVELOPING SPECIALIST TEAMS

1980

If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.

1982

Opened Power Tool Shop at 710 Pittwater Road, Brookvale to be a specialised power tool centre after separating from Industrial Supplies.

1983

Established a Sheet Materials Store at 85 Winbourne Road, Brookvale to carry Hardies Building Products, cement, steel mesh, plasterboard etc.

1984

Bathroom, Kitchen & Laundry Fittings and Appliances moved from 72 Winbourne Road, Brookvale to larger premises at 68 Winbourne Road, Brookvale, whereupon premises at 73 Winbourne Road were relinqui

1985

The Industrial Supplies Department (engineering supplies) moved from 1st Floor, 702-704 Pittwater Rood, Brookvale to 72 Winbourne Road, Brookvale.

1985

Locks and Door Furniture separated from the main Hardware & Paints Shop and opened as a specialised department on the 1st Floor, 702-704 Pittwater Road, Brookvale

1985

Hardware & General celebrates 25 years of servcies to builders and renovators.

1986

Tapware, after separating from Plumbing Supplies, opened a Tap Shop at 89 Winbourne Road, Brookvale.

1988

Concretors Supplies (reinforcing mesh, steel rod, etc.) was opened at 2-4 Winbourne Road, Brookvale, following the acquisition of the property.

1990S

The decade of significant expansion and growth

The early part of the 1990s was recovering from “the recession we had to have” but for Hardware & General the decade was a time of consolidation and growth. Sales increased every year as the business had done since 1960. By 1997 the company was employing 240 people, 174 at Brookvale and a further 66 at the recently purchased St George Builders Hardware Pty Ltd located in Peakhurst and Marayong. By 1996, Hardware & General deliveries were reaching further and further afield and purchasing the two stores on the other side of the harbour offered wider focus on the Sydney metropolitan area. The preparation for the Sydney Olympics was a big stimulus for the building industry from the mid-1990s. Hardware & General were involved in supplying material for many projects not only in Homebush but all across Sydney. They worked with Mirvac Jennings on the Olympic Village Multiple stores at the Brookvale operation changed locations and quickly grew into the spaces. The greatest expansion being into a dedicated Timber Division. EFTPOS was installed in all departments in 1994, and there were upgrades to the computer system that needed to be applied across all aspects of the business. This put a heavy load on the functioning of the administration department, as they also prepared for the onset of Y2K and the introduction of GST. As staff numbers grew, Peter MacGregor took over the management of Human Resources from Robert Hill in 1997. Peter, a director in the company since 2000, upgraded the trainee recruitment and implemented changes in Human Resources practices that were part of government reforms in the 1990s. 1991 welcomed Jennifer Compton, the third child of the MacGregor family into the debtor’s area of the business after some time in the banking industry.
Walter MacGregor with four of his five children, (L-R) Philip, Walter, Judy, Geoff and Peter .

1990

1990

Kitchen & Laundry Appliances, upon being separated from Bathrooms, set up a new centre at 64 Winbourne Road, Brookvale.

1991

Gutter and Roofing Supplies were set up as a new department at 30 Winbourne Road, Brookvale after being separated from the Plumbing Supplies Department.

1992

Plumbing supplies Department opened at 66 Winbourne Road, Brookvale, following purchase of this property. After the separation, the Building and Plumbing Supplies store became Building Supplies Dept.

1994

The Timber operation commenced in a small way in the rear portion of 30 Winbourne Road, Brookvale.

1995

The premises at 15/23 Winbourne Road, Brookvale, were acquired. Following a fire and major building repairs, a Timber Division was opened.

1995

Premises acquired at 70 Winbourne Road, Brookvale. The Tap Shop moved from 89 Winbourne Road to the ground floor of the new premises and Locks and Door Furniture moved from the 1st Floor, 702-704 Pittwater Road to the 1st Floor of the new premises.

1996

Early in the year, the business of St George Builders Hardware was “acquired” (i.e. we took over leases, purchased stock and employed the staff) . The Company continued to operate the two St George Builders stores at the following locations: 107-109 Boundary Road, Peakhurst, 360 Vardys Road, Marayong

1996

Marayong, in Sydney’s west, provided further opportunities for delivery Exp[ansion into the booming western growth corridor. 360 Vardys Road, Marayong

1999

Plywoods, Doors & Windows moved to 46 Winbourne Rood, Brookvale on being separated from the Timber Division at 15-23 Winbourne Road, Brookvale.

2000

Changes for the future

The year 2000 began positively with the prospect of the Olympics later in the year
and a healthy retail and housing market. Another economic phenomenon of the twenty-first century was the explosive growth of China and its demand for Australian mineral resources that bolstered the Australian economy. Australia was awash with the Made in China brand, and many local manufacturers went offshore. For Hardware & General, foreign manufacture maintained a significant cost advantage and with time, an improvement in the quality of goods.
As Philip MacGregor says, “We parallel what is happening in society.
Right now, we have moved into a global environment.”
In 2000 the Howard Government introduced the Goods and Services Tax. This new tax affected small business and forced the computerisation of all accounts handled in small business. The government offered a $200 subsidy to install computers.
During this decade the Sydney real estate market was buoyant. With readily available bank financing, the house prices continued to rise. The profitable real estate market was evident all through the Peninsula and had a positive effect on Hardware & General’s business when people
renovated, did home improvements, extensions or total rebuilds.
In 2001 a detrimental blow to the building industry was the collapse of HIH Insurance. HIH had been active in the provision in-home warranty insurance cover. The legal tangle this collapse brought about created difficulties for tradespeople. Builders could not meet the cost of insuring themselves on-site, plus the added value of insuring their materials and a new phenomenon occurred. Tradespeople began protecting their labour alone while the customer purchased the materials. This reduction in the
cost of the tradesman’s insurance premiums meant they could continue to be covered, do the job and still not exceed the insurance companies’ restraints. The result for Hardware & General was an increase in ‘cash’ sales rather than working on 60-day trade credit accounts. A disaster became a win-win situation.
The Global Financial Crisis shook the world in September 2008. Its impact tempered the economies of the United States of America and Europe, the hardest hit. In Australia, the Rudd Government’s Stimulus Package saved the country from economic panic.

Retailer of the Year by Australian Hardware Journal and Hills Industries in 2005.
2000+

2000

If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.New Prostix computer system purchased and installation project commenced. This would become a 5 year project. GST introduced. Sydney hosts the Olympics which boosts the construction industry. Hardware & General supply materials to builders constructing housing within the Olympic Village during 1998-2000

2000

200 Harbord Rood, Brookvale was purchased and a separate Hot Water Sales Centre opened at these premises. A new department, Kitchen Cabinets & Storage Solutions was opened at the Winbourne Road frontage to the Company’s Timber Division at 15-23 Winbourne Road Brookvale.

2001

Builder customers became seriously affected by the collapse of HIH insurance making it difficult for small builders to obtain adequate home warranty insurance cover reducing their capacity to build and buy from us. This affected future sales growth for the next 6 years or more. Upgraded store layout at Marayong and enlarged the paint department at Peakhurst.

2002

In December, settled the purchase of 75 Winbourne Road for the purpose of an enlarged locks and door sales department.

2004

Purchased the assets of RG Supplies Plumbing Plus store at 60 Daley Street, Mona Vale. This included stock, plant & equipment and commenced trading as Hardware & General in plumbing and bathroom sales.

2004

Commenced renovation of 706-710 Pittwater Road ground floor including opening walls between the buildings for an enlarged Paint store. Commenced selling paint under the 3D banner from 706-710 Pittwater Road, Brookvale after transferring the franchise from our Vale Hardware.

2005

Vale Hardware closed in December. In October, 2004 received council approval for the 38 Winbourne Road Development. Brisland were selected to build the development and in December demolition of some existing structures commenced.

2006

In February we took possession of our new 3 level building at 38 Winbourne Road. Racking and shop fittings were installed and trading began on 1st May, after moving stock from Building Supplies at 74 and 76 Winbourne Road, Industrial at 72 Winbourne and Power Tools at 89 Winbourne Road.

2006

In August, we opened a specialist Ryobi Power Tool shop at 89 Winbourne Road. In October we opened the Renovators’ Discount Centre” at 76 Winbourne Road and purchased 72 Winbourne Road, Brookvale (previously leased).

2007

In August, we moved the Hot Water Department to the newly refurbished 72 Winbourne Rd. Brookvale from 200 Harbord Road, Brookvale. In October, we settled the purchase of the old DY Interiors store at 728 Pittwater Road, Brookvale. In December we closed the Ryobi store at 89 Winbourne Road and moved stock to our Industrial and Power Tool department.

2007

In July we opened a new Tanks pump drainage and gardening department in the newly refurbished 74 Winbourne Road, Brookvale. In October we settled the purchase of 728-730 Pittwater Road for future development. The vacant block was used for storage of water tanks to maximise the booming market.

2008

Opened a specialised Fencing department at 200 Harbord Road in October.Started refurbishment of 728 Pittwater Road and building of new sealed car-park on 730 Pittwater Road Brookvale and signed franchise agreement with the Betta Appliance Group Signed lease for an additional large warehouse at Marayong to expand timber sale.

2008

Walter MacGregor retires as Chairman, after 49 years service in November. Philip MacGregor is appointed Chairman. Geoff MacGregor is appointed Assistant Managing Director. Jenny Compton and Judy Windred appointed to the Board of Directors.

2009

Hardware & General opened the new Betta Appliance store at 728 Pittwater Road in February 2009. The H&G expands into household lighting with the opening of a new Lighting store at 89 Winbourne Road, Brookvale.

2010

New division of Sinks, Tubs & Cabinets opens at 64 Winbourne Road Brookvale

2011 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

50 years of service to Sydney

On October 27th, Hardware & General celebrates its 50th year of service to Sydney’s building industry. 

The anniversary dinner was held at Miramare Gardens in Terrey Hills, where employees,suppliers and customers celebrated a night of memories. H&G hosted 300 guests.

Mega warehouse opens in Blacktown

2011 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

2011

Aquisition of New Line Building Supplies Dural NBS Frame & Truss Dural Clark & Walker Mitre 10, Hornsby

2011

On the 1st August 2011 Hardware & General acquired the business of New Line Building Supplies at 238 New Line Road, Dural and 35 Jersey Street, Hornsby. The aquisition included NBS Frame & Truss. The stores were rebranded to reflect the H&G brand message.

2014

In April we settled the purchase of 24-32 Forge Street Blacktown. As unit 8, 360 Vardys Road Marayong lease expired in May, we condensed the store into unit 1 and refurbished Blacktown. In July stock started moving into Forge Street and trading commenced in October. We had officially vacated Marayong by mid December.

2014

Sinks, Tubs & Appliances Department relocated to the ground floor of The Home Appliances store at 728 Pittwater Road Brookvale. In February, exterior signage changed to reflect H&G’s branding direction. Lighting category relocated to larger premises at 64 Winbourne Road, incorporating a Dark Room display facility.

2014

Structural renovations began on the bathroom showroom at 68 Winbourne Road, Brookvale. Warehousing was moved to the back of 64 Winbourne Road allowing for a larger showroom floor. Access ways were constructed to connect the adjoining departments at 70 Winbourne Rd and 728 Pittwater Road, creating an “under-the-one-roof” PC showroom. Steve Rayner was the builder.

2015

24-32 Forge Street Blacktown opened officially in May 2015 marked with a MEGA Trade Show. On 1st July, Dural and Hornsby operations began trading under the PROSTIX point of sale systems

2016

In July 2016, the Bathroom Showroom will undergo a major renovation to the displays and a significant change in strategic direction to reflect our changing market. Aspect North Building completed works in August 2017

2017

Commemcement of signage roll out for Winbourne Road stores. Rebranded with department names to help customers easily locate the store.

2017

Bathroom Gallery

24-32 Forge Street Blacktown opened officially in May 2015 marked with a MEGA Trade Show. On 1st July, Dural and Hornsby operations began trading under the PROSTIX point of sale systems

2017

Frame & Truss received new equpiment for the plant in August, enabling faster production to keep up with demand. The store also upgraded delivery vehicles.

2017

To further improve our free delivery and instore services, the new forklifts and delivery vehicles were purchased throughout the year.

2017

The business of Hardware & General invested heavily into infrastructure improvements during 2017, for the purpose of making shopping easier at Hardware & General. We congratulate the Management Team of 2017 for the successful implementation of these major investments.

Announcement

There’s more to come in the Hardware & General growth story.

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    Hardware & General

    Winbourne Road, Brookvale New South Wales 2100, Australia
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