Change of focus for local business

The Fraser family, director Bruce Fraser, owner Terese Fraser, directors Maree Johnson (nee Fraser) and Daryl Fraser, have operated the timber business since 1957 and the hardware store since 1980.

RK Fraser and Co Home Hardware is looking to change the way it does business in Narrandera.

According to Director Bruce Fraser, the business aims to sell off one arm of the business, but boost the strength of the other.

“We are trying to sell our Bolton Street hardware premises,” Mr Fraser said. “It has just become too costly for us to run two sites. If we can’t sell Bolton Street, it will eventually close and then we can either sell the property or rent the space.”

The retail sector in Australia has been besieged with troubles since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. While the rest of the economy was carried over by the mining industry, Australia’s retail sector struggled for years to compete with a high dollar, the rise of internet shopping and customers with slowing wage growth and less money to spend. A constant sale culture and the rise of the industry giants haven’t helped.

“Too many options in the retail hardware sector has meant the loss of sales and jobs to larger centres, through Bunnings, Aldi, Coles and the like. The internet’s made things harder too,” Mr Fraser said. “We have a lovely town here in Narrandera, but if we don’t shop locally, we will have fewer jobs and then less people in our town.”

It’s not all doom and gloom as the Frasers plan to expand their timberyard and hope to devote more space in the premises for retail.

“On a positive note we will extend and re-brand our timberyard premises to have a dust free retail space for a window, shower screen and door display area with builders and DIY hardware as well. We’re hoping to be finished by early 2018.”

The Frasers want to emphasise that their business will still be here for the town.

“If you need to do a building project in town, come in and see us and we will help you get the right stuff for your project,” Mr Fraser said.

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