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Godfreys Group Limited
Private company
Traded asASXGFY
IndustryFloorcare & Cleaning
FounderGodfrey Cohen
Area served
Australia, New Zealand
Key people
Nicholas Stretch (Chairman)
John Hardy (chief executive officer)
ProductsVacuum cleaners, steam mops, carpet shampooers
Number of employees

Godfreys is a niche appliance retailer based in Australia and New Zealand that primarily sells vacuum cleaners.


Godfrey Cohen founded the first Godfreys store in 1931 in Prahran, Melbourne.[1] The business expanded within Australia as demand from customers increased after World War Two, and the product range grew from solely bagged vacuum cleaners to include steam mops, carpet shampooers and bagless vacuum cleaners over time. Godfreys was sold to private equity companies Pacific Equity Partners and CCMP Capital Asia for $350 million in 2006.[2][3] In 2012, the business underwent a major restructure to reduce debt by over 90%[4] and replaced outgoing CEO Stephen Heath with industry veteran Tom Krulis.

The company was relisted on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2014 at $2.75 per share, but the share price fell to $0.21 by April 2018. 99-year-old John Johnston, who first joined Godfreys in 1936 as a partner, proposed a private takeover of the company in April 2018. His family company already owned 28% of the shares.[5]

Company Structure[edit]

Godfreys consists of a combination of over 200 company and franchise stores in Australia and New Zealand.[6] Together with their retail stores, Godfreys owns multiple vacuum service and repair centres across the two countries.[7]


Godfreys currently holds the licence to distribute Hoover brand vacuum cleaners in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to the Hoover brand, Godfreys also distributes the Wertheim brand of cleaning products in Australia, and recently began providing Lux products from Europe under the brand name Sauber due to name infringement issues with Lux Asia Pacific, which is owned by Vorwerk.


Godfreys has obtained brand awareness in Australia and New Zealand through many years of similar television advertisements featuring John Hardy.[8][9] The company was subject to an advertising complaint in 2006 around the use of the term 'Ship Hot' in its 2006 television commercials. The complaint was dismissed.[10] In 2013 the owner of the Lismore store dressed as Kevin Rudd.[11]

In November 2013 Godfreys withdrew a New Zealand advertisement following complaints of racism. The advertisement featured a white male wearing an "afro" style wig using terms such as "Aww hey bro, this one's bigger than Kim Dotcom's chilly bin aye... Godfreys' heaps big sale... aww bro this one's bigger than Gerry Brownlee's undies aye... aww it's heaps big, choice" (mimicking a "lower class" person of Māori or Pacific Island descent, as well as referencing the overweight politician Gerry Brownlee, and media presence Kim Dotcom).[12]


  1. ^ "Godfreys – Company History". Godfreys Australia. Godfreys. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Godfrey's sold for over $300m". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 May 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Iconic Godfreys sold for $350m". Current.com.au. Archived from the original on 27 July 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "Vacuum and Cleaning Retailer Godfreys cuts debt by 90pc in Major Restructuring". The Australian. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  5. ^ Dyer, Glenn (10 April 2018). Share Cafe. FG Digital Pty Ltd http://www.sharecafe.com.au/sharecafe.asp?a=AV&ai=48084. Retrieved 10 April 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Godfreys Store Locator". Godfreys.
  7. ^ "Godfreys Service and Repairs Service". Godfreys. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Godfreys TV advertisement 1990". Retrieved 7 November 2013 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Godfreys TV advertisement 2010". Retrieved 7 November 2013 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Godfreys TV Advert Complaint – 2006" (PDF). Advertising Standards Bureau.
  11. ^ "It's a Rudd Clean Sweep". Northern Star. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Vacuum cleaner ad pulled after complaints of racism". The New Zealand Herald. APNZ. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2015.

External links[edit]