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Industry Retail/Trade Hardware
Fate Merged with Bunnings Warehouse
Founded 1992
Defunct 2001
Number of locations
60 (prior to acquisition)
Area served
Australia, New Zealand
Owner BBC Hardware
Number of employees
5000+ (2000)

Burns Philp (1992-1994)

Howard Smith Limited (1994-2001)
A converted Hardwarehouse store now trading as Bunnings Warehouse in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. The three columns topped by balls were a fixture of all Hardwarehouse stores.

Hardwarehouse was a former chain of hardware stores, with stores located in Australia and New Zealand. Hardwarehouse developed the hardware warehouse concept based on comparisons to overseas chains B&Q and Home Depot. Along with BBC Hardware, Hardwarehouse became the largest independently owned hardware retailer in Australia before Bunnings Warehouse.


In 1992, Hardwarehouse was launched in New South Wales as BBC Home Depot. It was formed as a way for BBC Hardware to implement and develop the hardware warehouse concept in Australia and New Zealand. The first store was opened in Bankstown, although it was lower in volume than the larger stores that opened later, it proved to be very successful. BBC Hardware was however still finding its footing with the concept. The second store opened at Rockdale in 1993, and the third and fourth at Thornleigh and Caringbah in 1994, as the format was still being tested.[1]

In July 1994, Howard Smith Limited bought Burns Philp's hardware division and was renamed to Hardwarehouse.

Since 1994, Hardwarehouse opened 6 to 13 stores a year.[2] By 2001, The chain had 56 stores operating in Australia and 4 stores in New Zealand.


In 2001, Howard Smith Limited, owner of BBC Hardware and Hardwarehouse, was bought by Wesfarmers Limited. The chain began to be rebranded under the Bunnings Warehouse brand, giving Bunnings an additional 57 stores, many of them were larger stores in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and New Zealand.[3]

During the transition period, 3 of the acquired Hardwarehouse stores were closed. The chain continued trading under Wesfarmers ownership until the remaining stores were rebranded by the end of 2002.[4] A number of the former Hardwarehouse stores that Bunnings Warehouse moved out of have become retail bulky goods stores, or repurposed for other uses.


  1. ^ "About Us". Hardwarehouse. 2000-10-15. Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Wesfarmers News - Wesfarmers sends offer document to Howard Smith shareholders" (PDF). 29 June 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  3. ^ Hooper, Narelle (June 13, 2001). "Howard Smith shares boom with news of Wesfarmers takeover". Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Wesfarmers Annual Report 2002" (PDF). Retrieved 15 November 2017.