Indie store update
Top CRT stores celebrated
Farmcraft Kalbar was named CRT Community Member for the Year at the national conference in Perth
Farmcraft Kalbar was named CRT Community Member for the Year at the national conference in Perth
click for next slide
click for first slide
click for last slide
click for next slide
Hardex store in regional NSW shutting down and 30 years in business for Tyler's Rural
HNN Sources
CRT 2017 stores of distinction honoured at its national conference; a hardware store in Fairy Meadow (NSW) is closing its doors; and Tyler's Rural in Victoria reaches its 30 year anniversary.
CRT acknowledges its best

Farmcraft Kalbar was named the CRT Community Member for the Year at CRT's national conference in Perth recently.

It has been an integral part of the community for 25 years, and Farmcraft Kalbar managing director Alistair Ross said they were all about giving back. Some of the local organisations to benefit from its support include the Fassifern Cricket Association, Fassifern Falcons AFL Club, Fassifern Men's Shed and the Beaudesert High School.

This involvement has led to an understanding of the community and an ability to rally those around them in difficult times. When a young local was seriously injured in a car accident, Farmcraft Kalbar helped to raise funds to support his recovery.
Taree Produce

The Taree Produce team was named the NSW CRT Business of the Year for 2017 at the event, taking out the title for the fourth consecutive year.

Principal of Taree Produce, Craig Allport spoke of the efforts of his team in securing the award. Mr Allport is reported as saying:
Sue and I have worked hard, along with our store managers, David Moscatt and David Leach to ensure our team can continue to support our community in every endeavour. As a business we can never stop adapting to their needs and ensuring we have the most up to date knowledge to help them succeed.
Knowing how many fantastic CRT businesses there are across NSW, we are really proud to have defended our title again this year.

Greg O'Neil, executive general manager of CRT, on behalf of Ruralco Holdings Limited, is reported as saying:
Their continued success and outstanding performance really speaks to the strong culture Craig and Sue have established within the business. Their reputation within their community, but also within the CRT group, is something to be admired.
Finance partnership

A strategic partnership between Agfarm and CRT, also announced at the conference, will see Australian broadacre farmers gain more access to affordable input finance this planting season.

Agfarm's input finance program "Accelerate" has been in the market for the last five years, and is now being offered through all participating CRT stores based in broadacre cropping areas. Mr O'Neil is looking forward to the roll out and said in a statement:
CRT is always looking for ways to improve our service offering and assist our clients to expand and improve their operations, so the introduction of Agfarm Accelerate to the broader CRT network is great news.
Most CRT stores currently offer a limited range of finance models to broadacre farmers, however, in many cases they have been restricted due to a number of factors, in being able to offer seasonal finance more broadly. The introduction of Agfarm Accelerate will allow post-harvest payment terms, which will better suit their farming clientele.

CRT (Combined Rural Traders) was formed in 1970 in Orange (NSW) by a small group of businesses determined to get a better deal for the region's independent rural retailers and their farming customers. Today, the original member base of six has evolved into Australia's largest group of independent rural retailers with over 300 stores.
Fairy Meadow store closure

A Hardex Hardware Plus store in Fairy Meadow (NSW) is holding a closing down sale of its stock after owner Rene Tummers said he was hit with a 50% drop in customers when the Bellambi Bunnings store opened last October. He told the Illawarra Mercury:
When Masters was going to open up in Jardine Street, that's only 50m away, I thought that's the end for us. It's a death of a thousand cuts. It's just a torturous way to go. We resolved that the day they opened up their doors is the day we'll close ours.

The Masters store never came, and when Bunnings bought the land at Bellambi Mr Tummers believed it was just a "chess manoeuvre" in its battle with Masters. It was not. He said:
They had a 'soft opening' and from that very first day I lost half my sales. I thought OK, people get curious, they want to go have a look. We recovered a bit but not enough to sustain us. I thought we'll see if people come back. Some do - but we've still lost 30 to 40%.
I wasn't surprised; I was just caught out a bit at the timing. From Christmas on we had our closing down plan. I knew Bunnings was going to kill me.
I could probably count eleven hardware stores in the Illawarra which have closed as a result of this phenomenon, which is 'big box'. You think 'OK, that's the nature of the beast', but I do worry about where it's going to end up.
Some of the customers were practically in tears about us leaving. They felt lost, that they wouldn't be able to go to their favourite store and have somebody solve their problems for them.

Mr Tummers and his brother Theo purchased the store in 1999. Theo has since passed away and was considered the driving force behind the business.
Business milestone for Tyler's Rural

Tyler's Rural started with two brothers at Rupanyup (VIC) in 1988 and since then purchased hardware stores at Stawell and Murtoa to become a prominent franchise in the area.

As the business celebrates 30 years, owner Kelvin Tyler said it was a huge achievement. He told the Stawell Times:
It all started with myself and my brother Adrian and now we employ up to 14 people.

Mr Tyler said the business branched into the Stawell township to reach more agronomy clients. The farm supplies and hardware store is in its fourth year at the town.
There are a lot of agronomy clients in this area. So the move into Stawell was to make it more convenient for them, because some of them were having to travel about 60 or 70 kilometres to reach the other two locations.

Mr Tyler said after a "tough" first year of business at Stawell, sales were steady. He said:
It hasn't skyrocketed, but it is steady and we are finding there is more and more demand.
HNN Sources

Bookmark permalink

Click to visit the HBT website for more information