Who We Are
Australian Hardware provides the best quality hardware, homewares, garden supplies and building materials from Australia and the world.
What is now known as Australian Hardware opened its first store under the name of Percy's Home Goods in George St Sydney in 1921. Percy's Home Goods initially specialised in the manufacturing and sale of small household furniture. The company founder, Percy Greenwright, ran the store as a family business. The business quickly expanded from one to four stores across Sydney's northern and western suburbs. The stores employed the equivalent of 60 full-time staff by the beginning of 1928. All of which were either family members or friends.
In 1930, the midst of the Great Depression, the demand for Percy's Home Goods began to decline. Over the next three years Mr Greenwright was forced to close three of the stores but he refused to lay-off staff as they were his friends and family and he knew the chances of them finding other work was near to impossible. Mr Greenwright managed to sustain the business and all of its employees, even expanding back to two stores in 1937.
In 1941, declining consumer demand in conjunction with the onset of World War II again brought Percy's Home Goods to the brink of closure. This time it was Mr Greenwright's youngest child and only son Eric, who had only been working in the business for four years, who provided the catalyst for survival. Eric, without the knowledge of his father, negotiated a contract with the Australian Armed Forces to provide a range of outdoor and camping equipment for the war effort including tents, ground covers, lightweight furniture and cooking utensils. The contract would require significant change to existing business practices if it was to be fulfilled. When Mr Greenwright was told of the contract by his son Eric, he immediately handed over the running of the business to his son.
Eric Greenwright immediately initiated a change process that included re-training the existing manufacturing and sales staff and modifying the company's supplier relationships and equipment to cater for the contract. This sustained the business through the war years.
In the early 1950s, Eric Greenwright repositioned the business again; this time to benefit from the housing boom by supplying wood and other hardware items. The business was re-named Australian Hardware and an expansion program commenced that took the business into all states over the next 10 years.
In 1982 Australian Hardware was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and was offered to the public in a share float.
The business has continued to expand to now have 138 stores and approximately 10,000 staff across the country.