The Woden area will be without a hardware store for the first time since the 1970s following the closure of the Home Timber and Hardware store in Phillip.
A store closure notification, posted on the store’s entrance and dated 22 April, informs customers the business will cease trading on 24 May.
A spokesperson for Metcash, which owns the hardware franchise, confirmed with Region Media that the hardware store would no longer be trading after the landlord decided not to renew the lease.
Paul Donaghue first opened the store as Paul’s Home Centre in Phillip in 1972, making it one of the longest-lasting Canberra hardware stores.
Mr Donaghue sold the store for $4.25 million to the Woolworths-backed Danks conglomerate that included Lowe’s in 2010. The store in Phillip, as well as those at Gungahlin, Queanbeyan and Goulburn, were rebranded as Magnet Mart Home Timber and Hardware.
In 2016, Home Timber and Hardware was sold to Metcash, the parent company for the independently owned IGA and Foodland supermarkets, and liquor stores including Cellarbrations and The Bottle-O.
Metcash’s Independent Hardware Group is the largest independent hardware group in Australia and also owns the Mitre 10 and Thrifty Link brands.
The current manager of the Phillip store declined to comment, but the notice on the Phillip store reads:
“It is with great sadness we advise you that your local Home Timber & Hardware store located at 101/103 Hindmarsh Drive Phillip will cease trading on 24 May 2020, due to reaching the end of our lease.
“This Magnet Mart has been serving the local community for many years, providing essential products and services in the DIY/retail and trade hardware sectors.
“Our team at Magnet Mart would like to extend our thanks to you for your support over the years — we are proud to have been able to provide you with all your DIY/trade products over this journey.
“Following this site closure, we would be pleased to serve you from any of our other stores in the ACT at Mitchell, Queanbeyan or Karabar.”
Region Media understands that an expression of interest for the Phillip site went to market before Christmas last year and that Home Timber and Hardware would not be renewing its lease due to a downturn in trade.
It is also understood that contracts have exchanged on the sale of the site, but it is not known who the new owner would be.
A spokesperson for Bunnings confirmed they had not purchased the site; however, some of the staff who worked at Home Timber and Hardware have been re-employed by Bunnings.
The site would also be attractive to developers as it is zoned to a height of four stories.
The property is owned by John McGrath Ford which operates the adjacent car dealership on the corner of Hindmarsh and Melrose Drive in Phillip.