Awards of Excellence 2018

Recognising the outstanding achievements of our benchmark independent members

Congratulations to all our independent members and individuals who were recognised in Independent Hardware Group’s 2018 Awards Of Excellence.

Award recipients set the bar high, apply excellence to their offer and show a clear passion and drive to be the Best Store In Town and a thriving part of their local community.


Store: Johnson Bros Mitre 10, MONA VALE NSW
Member/s: Johnson family

Relocating to a larger Greenfield premise and reinvesting through Sapphire has seen this 60-year family business go from strength to strength. Double-digit sales growth has continued 18 months on from project completion, and they remain a benchmark as a Sapphire ‘store of the future’.

Located on an expansive 4000sqm with high ceilings that add an incredible feeling of space, the site excels in all aspects of merchandising and standards, while effective promo ends and dump bins continue to evolve the store’s value statement.

The site has over 150 parking spaces, separate double-width driveways for both retail and trade, an extensive garden centre, Dulux trade outlet, a kitchen and bathroom selection centre and fully undercover drive through. The team strive for business improvement and recently implemented a new electronic employee pay system and cloud-based POS for efficiencies.

Local, family values are at the heart of the Johnson business with 16 second and third generation family members now working in the company. The family passionately support the community at every opportunity including over 30 sponsorships of local groups and charities.

State Finalists:

  • Diamond Valley Mitre 10 VIC
  • Manjimup Mitre 10 WA
  • Barossa Mitre 10, Nuriootpa SA
  • Porters Mitre 10, Mackay QLD


Store: TM&H Home Timber & Hardware, MOE VIC
Member/s: Jeffrey Hitchins, James Hitchins & David Gorman

The Hitchins and Gorman families have quietly grown their Moe business over the last 30 years to become a real powerhouse player in the Gippsland market – their sales success driven by strong community relationships and goodwill. Sales currently tracking 7% up YTD.

The store is extremely well presented and merchandised across both retail and trade, with key points of difference including a STIHL workshop and repairs, a Makita dealership, flooring display, sheds, a bathroom and kitchen display centre, as well as appliances and whitegoods. They take a truly local approach to their business operations, connecting with customers through personalised service and events including their popular Ladies Nights, Trade Breakfasts and same-day delivery service.

The team are in the early stages of Sapphire transformation and converting to Mitre 10 as part of a long-term plan to take the store to the next level. As part of the journey, the family has embraced the ranging, operations and business review program whole-heartedly to ensure both the team and the business is match fit before the in-store transformation begins.

State Finalists:

  • Gubbins Home Timber & Hardware Moss Vale NSW
  • Margaret River Home Timber & Hardware WA
  • B & S Hardware, Alice Springs NT
  • MacKenzies Home Timber & Hardware, Goondiwindi QLD


Store: Provan’s Home Timber & Hardware, CLIFTON HILL VIC
Member/s: Barry, Jarrod & Marnie Rosenberg

You’d be hard pressed to find a more impressive trade outlet in the highly competitive Melbourne market than at Provans. The team continue to improve in all aspects of trade execution with efficiency and professionalism.

The purpose-built site, constructed in 2015, has been an overwhelming success for the Rosenberg family, growing their customer base and increasing spend from existing builder accounts. The layout and range was specifically designed to service trade customers and incorporates all key elements such as multi-lane drive thru, dedicated trade desk, fully undercover timber and logical traffic flow to the shop floor.

The majority of their business is generated from structural timbers but they also specialise in furniture grade hardwoods, western red cedar and other unique species. Upstairs features a large showroom for finishing items such as doors, flooring, skirting, architraves, cladding and decking.

The team pride themselves on being a reliable business partner to their customers – the introduction of a food truck/coffee van in the drive-thru and the decision to move to 6.30am openings were a direct result of listening to their tradies. Barry, Jarrod and the team are ready and willing to work alongside other IHG trade members and regularly facilitate store tours in support of the FVT culture.

State Finalists:

  • Johnson Bros Mitre 10, Mona Vale NSW
  • Thornton’s Mitre 10, Denmark WA
  • Barossa Mitre 10, Nuriootpa SA
  • Bowen Home Timber & Hardware QLD


Store: Kincumber Mitre 10, KINCUMBER NSW
Member/s: Steve McCumstie & Peter Steele

Proudly supporting the coast since 1988, Steve and Peter are a shining example of a community-minded family business that puts loyalty and service ahead of anything else. They proudly support numerous local fundraising initiatives, including longstanding backing of Free Trade Day, the donation of free trade services and material to families who have fallen on hard times.

The completion of Sapphire in 2017 has generated solid 15% sales growth. The team operate under a simple business mantra to offer “fair pricing, guaranteed service and the ability to adjust to our customers’ needs”. They implement every digital tool available to them and build strong working relationships with their suppliers, engaging with them on a 12 month calendar of sales and marketing opportunities.

Peter and Steve are leaders within the Hunter Coast Village, continuously making themselves and their store available for other members to visit and review Sapphire outcomes. Peter is chairman of the NSW LAM committee and vocal advocate for IHG programs.

State Finalists:

  • Crameri’s Mitre 10, Maryborough VIC
  • Dongara Mitre 10 WA
  • Waikerie Mitre 10 SA
  • Smith Bros Mitre 10, Longreach QLD


Store: Jurien Bay Hardware, JURIEN BAY WA
Member/s: Clinton & Lily Strugnell

Positioned on a small 800sqm footprint, Jurien Bay HTH packs a solid punch for its size with owners Clinton and Lily committed to initiatives that make their business the Best Store In Town. Many areas have been relayed over the last year to improve store design and create an easier shopping experience for local and seasonal customers. These changes have also enabled them to reintroduce a Garden Centre to secure additional sales. Weber, Swap N Go and pool testing are all part of their local, one-stop hardware offer.

The team are extremely well-connected to the local Jurien Bay community and gets involved in numerous local projects with their tradies.

They regularly attend Village and Cluster meetings and demonstrate a positive outlook and willingness to take part in discussions. Clinton is regularly called upon for testimonials on IHG initiatives amongst his peers.

State Finalists:

  • Blacksmiths Hardware NSW
  • Pretty Sally Home & Garden, Wallan VIC
  • Peterborough Hardware SA
  • Killarney Co-Op Hardware QLD


Store: Sunlite Mitre 10 York St, SYDNEY NSW
Member/s: Steven Czeiger

Steven’s vision for an inner-city hardware offer with a modern twist has been perfectly executed at this latest CBD location. Completing the Sapphire transformation in 2017 – the fifth project for the Sunlite Group – the presentation of the 280sqm York Street store is immaculate and displays an extensive breadth of range to suit local demographics.

This is a business that is built on is people with the entire Sunlite team an excellent example of the power and culture behind a brand. The leadership team are empowered to manage the business in a manner that drives an enthusiastic service culture and exceptionally close relationships with all of its customers.

Mighty Rewards membership now surpasses 16,000 customers with 59% contactable email addresses. An outstanding example of the sales leverage that can be gained from an effective loyalty program.

State Finalists:

  • Rochester Mitre 10 VIC
  • Streeter & Male Mitre 10, Broome WA
  • Strathalbyn Mitre 10 SA
  • Byron Bay Mitre 10 QLD


Store: McLaren Vale Mitre 10, MCLAREN VALE SA
Member/s: Mark Loveday, Brian Lawrence & Linda Provis

Mark, Brian and Linda took ownership of this store with a Garden Centre that was already at the top of its game, but have continued to reinvest in new ranges and store presentation to create a fresh and inviting offer for locals. With a history of managing and building award-winning stores, Mark has managed to raise the bar yet again since taking on this venture.

In a competitive retail market, this store has managed to grow the garden category. Management invest in their people by developing their team and employing knowledgeable and experienced Garden Centre staff to build trust amongst customers. The store is famous for promoting bulk pot offers and soil ranges.

The business has strong brand commitment and compliance, and executes effective LAM campaigns to promote their range and expertise to the market.

State Finalists:

  • Gubbins Home Timber & Hardware, Moss Vale NSW
  • Diamond Valley Mitre 10 VIC
  • Two Dogs Home Hardware, Merredin WA
  • Porters Mitre 10, Mackay QLD


Store: Port Broughton Hardware, PORT BROUGHTON SA
Member/s: Mark & Kaye Bellman

Back to back wins for Mark and Kaye Bellman who continue to set a high benchmark in convenience retailing, in the fishing community of Port Broughton.

They keep a close eye on any opportunity to grow their business and keep pace with their customers’ changing needs. Makita and Weber being great examples of new ranges introduced through a structured LAM campaign to build awareness amongst local and seasonal shoppers.

Both Mark and Kaye are great supporters of IHG and the unity of the independent network to combat the growing threat of large corporates.

State Finalists:

  • Do It Yourself True Value Hardware, Bomaderry NSW
  • Trafalgar True Value Hardware VIC
  • Bindoon True Value Hardware WA
  • Cardwell Traders True Value Hardware QLD


Village: Western Planers, NSW

In the face of some of the driest conditions on record, Western Planers members have developed a cohesive culture of working together to adapt and survive in business.

Collectively, the stores have driven a 10 per cent growth in Trade Sales and strengthened connections with Volume builders and Hardings.

Elaborate LAM initiatives and a concerted effort to lift the average HSA score in the Village has assisted all members to improve the shopping experience.

State Finalists:

  • North East Rangers VIC
  • Central Diggers SA


  • 2018 HALL OF FAME

    Vanderkolk family – Bayswater Mitre 10 VIC


    Peter Williams – Williams Mitre 10, NEW NORFOLK TAS


    Michele Vincent – State Sales & Marketing Officer, WA Support Office


    Josh Pain – Margaret River Home Timber & Hardware, MARGARET RIVER WA