No place for Home: trade downturn the final nail for Woden’s last hardware store

Michael Weaver 6 May 2020 122
The Home Timber and Hardware store at Phillip

The Home Timber and Hardware store at Phillip will close its door at the end of May. Photo: Region Media.

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.”

Notes on the entrance

Notification of the closure of the Home Timber and Hardware store at Phillip.

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.


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122 Responses to No place for Home: trade downturn the final nail for Woden’s last hardware store
Christopher Cuba Rabanal Christopher Cuba Rabanal 6:59 pm 08 May 20

Go and buy something

John Moulis John Moulis 2:19 pm 07 May 20

There were two hardware stores next to each other, both owned by Paul O’Donoghue. Paul’s Home Centre (which opened in 1971) and Magnet Mart (which came later). Paul’s Home Centre had a wider focus with a hardware section in the middle of the store, while Magnet Mart was purely hardware and gardening. He closed Paul’s Home Centre in the 1980s and redeveloped the land with the shops which are still there today (The Paul’s Centre). Magnet Mart remained.

    JC JC 7:30 pm 08 May 20

    John think your history is off a little bit. The first Magnet Mart (according to Wiki) was QBN in 1985.

    There was only ever a Paul’s at the Woden site until the owner decided to change name to Magnet Mart.

Jayson Rowe Jayson Rowe 6:19 am 07 May 20

Staff there very helpful and friendly. Quicker than going to Bunnings

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 11:26 pm 06 May 20

The other magnet marts were much bigger than Woden but it's the last one to go. Bunnings set up next door to Belconnen and Gungahlin Magnet Mart and people flocked to the the new stores though they weren't any better.

Stephanie Lohse Stephanie Lohse 7:35 pm 06 May 20

Jordan Lohse nooooooo what are you gunna do now 😭😭

Ben Wilson Ben Wilson 5:52 pm 06 May 20

Jen Kemp I am sure this will really upset you....

Richard Brady Richard Brady 3:21 pm 06 May 20

Change of lifestyle. Not good!

Angie Carey Angie Carey 10:42 am 06 May 20

What a pity - the 2016 sale to the bean counters was the start of the store's demise. Prior to that sale, the previous owners would employ ex-tradies at peak times as sales staff who also gave valuable advice. Post -2016 sales staff numbers plummeted and cash registers closed. No service=no sales. A great little business ruined.

Gay McGuire Gay McGuire 10:15 am 06 May 20

Definitely an end of an era I came to Canberra in 1973 & lived in Torrens. I was one of the first residents in Kambah in 1974 & purchases for my new home were bought from Pauls.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:08 am 06 May 20

Bad timing for them because in the next two years there will be hundreds on new home units completed in the town centre and there will be a huge demand for gap-filler and waterproof silicon to complete the units after they are occupied.

Nick Stoyanoff Nick Stoyanoff 9:51 am 06 May 20

During work I’ve had to pop into here quickly a few times as I was on a job in the Woden area, every time I did they never had the basic item I was looking for. No shock here.

Chris C Lindsay Chris C Lindsay 9:27 am 06 May 20

Great staff thanks for all the helpfully assistance

Mark Fraser Mark Fraser 9:22 am 06 May 20

A sad loss of a very useful shop.

John Hynes John Hynes 8:54 am 06 May 20

Obviously the people of woden dont mind driving to Fyshwick

Victor Chatyk Victor Chatyk 8:39 am 06 May 20

Everyday we arr going backwards

Stephen Haynes Stephen Haynes 8:02 am 06 May 20

Once upon a time a home from home

Dimitri John Dimitri John 7:29 am 06 May 20

Thank god

Tom McDonald Tom McDonald 7:19 am 06 May 20

Heck yeah, sales!

Georgia Garlick Georgia Garlick 7:01 am 06 May 20

Lucy Aukett I wasn't going crazy!

    Lucy Aukett Lucy Aukett 8:47 am 06 May 20

    Georgia vindication for you but ☹️ for me

Ian Titulaer Ian Titulaer 5:52 am 06 May 20

I remember when there were three hardware stores in Woden. 🤧😢

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