The Warehouse Group

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"The Warehouse" redirects here. For other uses, see Warehouse (disambiguation).
The Warehouse Group[1]
Traded as NZX: WHS
Industry Retail (department & discount)
Founded North Shore, New Zealand, 1982 (Store); 34 years ago
1991 (Group); 25 years ago
Headquarters North Shore, New Zealand
Key people
Revenue Decrease NZ$1,735,030,000 (2007–08)[2]
Decrease NZ$134,687,000 (2007–08)[2]
Profit Decrease NZ$90,769,000 (2007–08)[2]
Total assets NZ$654,937,000 (2007–08)[2]
Total equity NZ$334,656,000 (2007–08)[2]
Number of employees
12,000 [4]
  • Group Sourcing Support
  • Insight Traders
  • Schooltex
  • International Brands
  • CES
  • Big Bucket Deals
  • Third Party Sourcing
  • SRO & HK Sourcing
  • Bargin Sourcing

The Warehouse Group Limited officially stylized as TW Group,[1] founded by Stephen Tindall in 1982, is the largest retail group operating in New Zealand. The Warehouse Group (TW Group) is a group that consists of The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Warehouse Group Financial Services and Torpedo7 Group.


"The Warehouse" logo used up to 2006. No stores in New Zealand use this version anymore. All stores in Australia used this logo until they were renamed in 2008.
  • 1982: First store opens in Takapuna, Auckland.
  • 1988: Second store opens in Market St, Hastings
  • 1990: First nationally distributed advertising "mailer'.
  • 1991: Sales exceed $100 million.
  • 1991: First Warehouse Stationery store is opened.
  • 1992: Launch of The Warehouse card.
  • 1995: The Warehouse added to the New Zealand Stock Exchange, under the symbol TWH.
  • 1996: Opening of a North Island Distribution centre.
  • 1996: The largest Warehouse store at the time in Invercargill opens and local businesses suffer creating a large amount of empty shops in the city.
  • 1998: Introduction of apparel as major department.
  • 2000: The Warehouse is added to the NZSE 10 index.
  • 2000: Sales exceed $1 billion.
  • 2002: The Warehouse celebrates 20 years in operation.
  • 2003: The Warehouse Australia brand is launched, with a total of 126 stores.
  • 2004: The Warehouse signifies overall brand change and store format change.
  • 2005: Lab store launched in the Hamilton suburb of Te Rapa.
  • 2005: Warehouse brand relaunched with new lower-case logo and TV ads softened.[7]
  • 2005: The Warehouse signifies its intention to enter the liquor market.
  • 2005: The Warehouse announces it will pull out of its Australian operation by Christmas.[8]
  • 2005: The Warehouse Australia sold for A$92 million (NZ$99m).
  • 2006: The Warehouse begins selling alcoholic beverages in selected stores. Invercargill and Gore stores are excluded from selling alcohol due to local licensing laws.
  • 2006: The Warehouse launches the first of its new format stores branded 'The Warehouse Extra' at Sylvia Park, Auckland. The offer includes full grocery as well as a pharmacy, bakery and photo processing.
  • 2007: The Warehouse celebrate their 25th birthday and to mark the occasion release 13,000 balloons, causing concerns from environmentalists.[9][10]
  • 2008: The Warehouse abandons its full-scale grocery arm operating under the name 'The Warehouse Extra', converting or reverting the few stores involved to the standard format.[11]
  • 2009: The first smaller-concept store, The Warehouse Local, opens in Mosgiel.[12]
  • 2010: The Warehouse opens a brand new store (now one of the country's largest) in Gisborne. It is the first large format store since the opening of The Warehouse Sylvia Park in 2006.[13]
  • 2012: The Warehouse ceases its instore pharmacy offer.
  • 2012: The Warehouse in Hastings is rebuilt as one of New Zealand's largest. The old Warehouse on Market St goes up for sale.
  • 2012: The Warehouse announces it is buying electronics retailer The Noel Leeming Group for $65 million.[14][15]
  • 2013: TW Group hold Click Madness, a one-day online only sale across all brands in the group.
  • 2013: TW Group Purchases Torpedo7, No. 1 Fitness, Shotgun Supplements, Shop HQ ( &, and Insight Traders.
  • 2014: TW Group Buys R&R Sport and SchoolTex.[4]
  • 2014: TW Group launches The Warehouse Group Financial Services after the takeover of Diners Club NZ[6][16]


The Warehouse operates discount retail department stores selling a broad range of non-grocery and grocery products. As of January 2015, The Warehouse employed over 12,000 people in New Zealand.[4] The Warehouse's corporate headquarters are located in North Shore, New Zealand.

Apart from its 242 retail locations, it operates 2 distribution centres located in Wiri, New Zealand and in Rolleston, New Zealand as well as 12 online stores.[4]

In addition to its own operations, it also owns various brand names that are located within the stores. It has gardening facilities located in Auckland, Hamilton and in Christchurch. Along with its gardening brand Just, it also operates nearly 30 "in-company" brands.

The Warehouse is publicly traded on the New Zealand Stock Exchange with the security code WHS (TWH was used previously).[17]


The Warehouse's chief competitors in the national retail scene include Farmers (lowscale department stores), Kmart (discount department stores) the Briscoes Group (discounted sports and homeware store chains) and Super Cheap Auto (automotive products).


The Warehouse has been criticised for poor products and has had product recalls of items they exclusively sell. A recent example is a brand of cycle helmets sold at The Warehouse that had the insulation detach from the shell of the helmet. As a result, all helmets were recalled and customers who purchased these helmets asked to return for a refund.[18][19]

More recently The Warehouse was blamed for the closure of Sounds Music stores as well as illegal downloading of music. The management of The Warehouse dispute these claims.[citation needed]

In May 2007 to mark the 25th Birthday of The Warehouse the company released 13,000 balloons from Dairy Flat. This sparked concerns from the Department of Conservation and other environmentalists as the balloons have been known to endanger wildlife.[9][10]

In December 2009 it was announced that The Warehouse staff would be taking industrial action due to issues with staff having their hours extended to 50-hour weeks in the lead up to Christmas and staff having to work late at night.[20]

Return Policy[edit]

The company operates a comprehensive returns policy. A "money back guarantee" policy (returns accepted for any reason) is available on most products, excluding underwear, pre-recorded media and perishable products. This concept has not worked in Australia, particularly due to the fact that there are many other more well-established department store chains (K-Mart, Target, Big W). Australian stores no longer advertise a "money back guarantee." In late 2005, The Warehouse Group announced its decision to close its Australian arm.[21]

Australian operation[edit]

In 2000, the company entered the Australian retail market. It acquired the Clint's Crazy Bargains and Silly Solly's retail chains. At the time of purchase, those chains had around 117 stores.[22]

In 2003 the company built a $33 million (AUD) distribution centre in Queensland, to service the country. Later that year, the company introduced its Tui and Tolas inventory management systems from New Zealand.

As of 2005, the Australian arm was still under-performing. Sales for 2005 were at $518.8 million (AUD), compared with $567.3 million (AUD) in 2004. The Warehouse Group Limited announced in November, 2005 that it had entered into a conditional agreement to sell The Warehouse Australia business to Catalyst Investment Managers and its parent PPM Capital Limited (together, Catalyst) and Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Partners, acting on behalf of the CHAMP I and CHAMP II funds (CHAMP) for A$92 million (NZ$99m). The new entity was known as Australian Discount Retail (ADR). As part of the transaction, The Warehouse Australia's Sydney Head Office would be sold to Investec Wentworth Specialised Property Trust. While the effective date for the transaction was to be 27 November 2005, completion of the sale was expected in early 2006 and was subject to normal regulatory approvals.

At its formation ADR also purchased the discount store operations of Miller's Retail, including the Go-Lo, Crazy Clark's and Chickenfeed (Tasmania) chains. There were 335 such stores at the time of sale.

After the sale of the Australian operation, Warehouse stores were renamed Sam's Warehouse.[23]


In June 2006, "The Warehouse Extra" opened at Sylvia Park, Auckland. It was the first of a planned chain of hypermarkets, at 135,000 sq ft (12,500 sq m). In a similar fashion to the Wal-Mart Supercenters of the United States, the foodmarket department aisles are placed at a perpendicular angle to the general merchandise. It is the first store to feature an in-store bakery, pharmacy and cafe, and instead of the usual tall industrial shelving, a more conventional store shelving system has been used. The store also features a lot less red than in traditional stores, but the familiar concrete floor still exists. The next branches of "The Warehouse Extra" were in Whangarei and Te Rapa in Hamilton. In October 2008 The Warehouse announced that they will be canning "The Warehouse Extra" format with stores reverting to the more traditional style of store coming months.[11] There were four of The Warehouse Extra in Auckland (Albany, Manukau, Sylvia Park and Westgate). Today "The Warehouse Extra" brand is used on larger traditional stores nationwide, with many existing large stores have taken on "The Warehouse Extra" branding such as those in Lyall Bay (Wellington), Riccarton (Christchurch), South Dunedin and Palmerston North. Stores carrying "The Warehouse Extra" brand are typically larger, open later and carry a greater range than regular stores.

Street view of Mosgiel's Warehouse Local store.

The Warehouse Local[edit]

On Thursday 23 July 2009, The Warehouse Group opened the first of its smaller-concept stores, The Warehouse Local, in Mosgiel. These stores are approximately 2000 square metres in size, compared with the usual 5000 square meters seen in larger locations. These stores also have single checkout counters, doing without dedicated Service, Jewellery and Entertainment counters which are present in most other stores. Another 3 stores are intended to be launched per year, following this concept, over the next five years.[12] This will give The Warehouse a chance to have market domination in smaller towns as well as the larger towns and cities in New Zealand. While the "Local" naming is no longer used, smaller stores in Rolleston and St Lukes have opened using the smaller format.


The Warehouse Group currently owns five flagship subsidiaries.[6]

"The Warehouse" logo

The Warehouse[edit]

The flagship store for the Group; founded in 1982 by Sir Stephen Tindall. The Warehouse sells items of essential use. For example, clothing, sport equipment, gardening equipment, furniture, and so on. As a result of their branding and the distinctive colour of their buildings, The Warehouse's stores are colloquially known both within the organisation and within New Zealand in general as "Red sheds". They compete mainly with Kmart in the discount department store sector, as well as a range of more specialised retailers such as hardware stores Mitre 10 and Bunnings Warehouse, automotive parts retailers Repco and Supercheap Auto and electronics and homewares retailers such as Farmers, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.

The current "Warehouse Stationery" logo

Warehouse Stationery[edit]

Warehouse Stationery is a big-box retail store similar to Australia's Officeworks or America's OfficeMax that sells stationery, computers, printers, computer/office products and some mobile products. It competes locally with OfficeMax (mainly in the office supply segment) as well as with Paper Plus and Whitcoulls in books and stationery, and electronics retailers such as JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman.

Torpedo7 Group[edit]

Torpedo7 is a multi-channel subsidiary that own and run online stores Torpedo7 (a sports and outdoor equipment retailer),, (an online daily deals site), Number One Fitness (selling exercise equipment) and (a bodybuilding supplement store).

Based in Hamilton, New Zealand, Torpedo7 was founded in 2004 by mountain bike enthusiast Luke Howard-Willis. A 51% stake was purchased by The Warehouse Group for NZ$33 million in 2013.[24] While The Warehouse Group now has full ownership (through Torpedo7's ultimate parent company, Boye Developments Limited[25]), Torpedo7 continues to operate as a standalone business. In October 2014, seven R&R Sport stores previously acquired by The Warehouse Group in December 2013 rebranded as Torpedo7. Combined with two brand new physical stores, this marked Torpedo7's first foray into bricks-and-mortar retail.[26] R&R Sport was founded in 1981 in Dunedin as Recycled Recreation, a store specialising in second hand sports gear.[27]

The Warehouse Group Financial Services Limited[edit]

The Warehouse Group Financial Services Limited is a joint venture that was formed in 2001 following the joint acquisition of Diners Club New Zealand by The Warehouse Group and Westpac Banking Corporation.

The Warehouse Group Financial Services Limited provides consumer credit cards and insurance through The Warehouse brand and distribution channels.[6] In the 2014 Annual Report, it is stated that The Group holds a 49% minority share in this financial arm of TW Group with Westpac holding a 51% majority share.[28]

On the 1st of October 2015 TW Group announced the acquisition of the remaining 51% of TW Group Financial Services from Westpac. The acquisition cost $7.3 million (NZD). Later in the release TW Group also announce their plans to expand the unit not by acquisition but by internal expansion.[29]

"Noel Leeming" logo since 2014

Noel Leeming Group Limited[edit]

Noel Leeming is a retail electronics store competing with electronics stores like Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi and to a lesser extent department stores like Farmers and homewares stores like Briscoes. It sells a range of consumer electronics, small appliances and whiteware. While there is some degree of overlap between Noel Leeming's core business and The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, it tends to concentrate on a more up-market segment, offering a larger selection of brands than would normally be found at a discount retailer like The Warehouse as well as concentrating more on people and services associated with technology.[30] It also operates Tech Solutions, an electronics and whiteware support and installation service[31] and Open Learning, a service offering training and learning sessions for technology users.[32]

The Warehouse Group acquired Noel Leeming Group from Gresham Private Equity for NZ$65 million, effective from the 10th of December 2012.[33] Noel Leeming Group acquired Maclean Technology in December 2013, an experienced team that deliver specialist professional IT services to New Zealand companies.[34]

Waikato Valley Chocolates[edit]

TW Group operates the Waikato based confectionery company, Waikato Valley Chocolates.[35]

Store counts[edit]

According to the 2014 Annual Report, TW Group has,

  • The Warehouse NZ stores: 91
  • Noel Leeming stores: 77
  • Warehouse Stationery stores: 63
  • Torpedo7 Group stores:10
    • Total stores: 241

Financial results[edit]

The Warehouse went public in 1995. Since then the stock has climbed from $1.29 to $5.54 in 2005 then to $2.605 as of the 8th of January 2015. During 2005, the stock dropped dramatically due to worse than expected results from the Australian operation.[36]

In the financial year ended September 2015, The Warehouse Group reported a revenue of NZ$2.77 billion (up 4.6% on the previous financial year) and profits of NZ$57.1 million (down nearly 6% on the last financial year). Online sales made up NZ$150 million of their revenue - a rise of nearly 800% from just NZ$18.8 million in 2011, though still barely 0.56% of their total sales. While The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery recorded strong profit growth, the Noel Leeming electronics store division reported a drop in profit of 43% (partly due to one-off rebranding costs). The Torpedo7 Group (including Torpedo7, R&R Fitness, Shotgun Supplements and No.1 Fitness) recorded a profit just above break-even, hit by change and rebranding costs. Meanwhile, the Warehouse Financial Services division recorded a $1.9 million loss, "in line with expectations".[30]


Retail operations[edit]

The Warehouse operates 3 major formats under 3 different divisions:

  • The Warehouse New Zealand (Red Sheds)
    • Average 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) and include a selection of general merchandise, including apparel, electronics, health and beauty aids, toys, sporting goods and household products. Also includes large gardening departments, along with music and entertainment.
  • Warehouse Stationery (Blue Sheds)
    • Average 30,000 to 40,000 square feet (2,800 to 3,700 m2) and include a large selection of stationery, computers, printers and computer/office products.
  • Noel Leeming
    • Flagship electronics brand
    • Appliance and electronics stores

Board of Directors[edit]

Name Position Appointed
Stephen Tindall Founder of The Warehouse 10 June 1994
Nick Grayston Group Chief Executive Officer 1 January 2016
Eduard Van Arkel Chairman 1 July 2011
Kieth Raymond Smith Deputy Chairman 10 June 1994
Anthony Balfour Independent Non-Executive Director 15 October 2012
James Harold Ogden Independent Non-Executive Director 4 August 2009
John Journee Independent Non-Executive Director 17 October 2013
Vanessa Stoddart Independent Non-Executive Director 17 October 2013


  1. ^ a b
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  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^ "Commentators: The Warehouse logo looks un-exciting (NZ Herald)". NZ Herald. 26 September 2005. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Chan, Karen (2005-12-11). "Yellow Sheds sale could fetch $90 million". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
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  16. ^ Diners Club NZ sold to TW Group
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  27. ^
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  31. ^ "Tech Solutions - Noel Leeming". Noel Leeming. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  32. ^ "Open Learning Centre - Noel Leeming". Noel Leeming. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  33. ^ "Warehouse buys Noel Leeming chain for $65m". New Zealand Herald. 2012-12-10. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Company Overview of Waikato Valley Chocolates Limited". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  36. ^ Chan, Karen (10 September 2005). "Aussie Write-off hits Warehouse". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 

External links[edit]