Back in 1982, our founder Sir Stephen Tindall saw an opportunity to make life better for the average Kiwi. At the time, New Zealand’s high import tariffs meant Kiwis were paying far too much for a range of everyday products.
Sir Stephen realised he could deliver Kiwis a bargain by cutting out all the frills and creating efficient supply-chain and distribution methods. It was a true innovation in the retail industry. The Warehouse’s first store, on Auckland’s North Shore, was a hit with customers and quickly expanded to towns all over New Zealand. Naturally this caused a disruption in the retail scene, as The Warehouse was getting calls from towns all over the country to open a store in their community.
Later, New Zealand’s laws were relaxed, allowing The Warehouse to deliver better and more diverse products. Warehouse Stationery was opened and operated using the same sophisticated business model that underpinned The Warehouse’s success. The brand grew from eight stores in 1995 to 67 in 2016. We later acquired Noel Leeming Group and Torpedo7, along with a range of online shopping and retail distribution businesses.
As a Group and at a brand level, we remain as focused on retail innovation, community support and sustainability now as we were when Sir Stephen first dreamed of a place where everyone could get a bargain.