It’s a great old building, how old is the business?
It was started in 1895 by George & William Tonks. My family bought it in 1963 and I have been working here since I was 11 years old.
What’s your current mix of customers?
All pretty much locals and about 80% is trade business with the balance DIY.
You joined HBT when they first started up in Victoria in 2000. Why?
We wanted the buying power and the sense of belonging. We had been in one of the franchised groups but as time went on we found they were less interested in us and more about themselves. There was no flexibility to do things differently to what they said, so we got out.
How has membership worked for you?
Fantastic. We didn’t realise that we hadn’t really been focused on maximising our buying before. Joining is a no brainer. We got our joining fee back in our first two rebate cheques. Now we bank the rebates to a separate account which we use to pay for vehicles, equipment, store development etc. It’s great not to have to worry about funding those things.
Can people call you about this?
Our number is 03 5470 5100.