The Henriques Brothers, led by Emanuel Henriques, operated Kingston Industrial Works (KIW) located at 1 Darling Street in Downtown Kingston. KIW specialized mainly in iron works, building manhole covers, frames, grates and, to a lesser extent, bridges. They also operated a small hardware retail business. As the post-World War 1 building boom continued and the need for lumber and hardware items increased locally. The Henriques Brothers decided to separate the iron mongering side of the business from the lumber and hardware division, therefore providing better quality service and a wider product range to two distinct niches.
The First Store And so, on December 9, 1927, Hardware and Lumber Limited began operations with its first retail store at 4 King Street, with Lionel deCordova as its first Manager. Among the items offered for sale at this location were: paints, oils, glassware, silverware, earthenware, pottery, leather goods, firearms, explosives, bicycles and bicycle parts, motor car parts and accessories, electrical fittings and appliances. In the same month, H&L purchased warehousing and wharfing facilities at Marine Gardens on Harbour Street, beside the famous Myrtle Bank Hotel, at a cost of Twelve Thousand British Pound (£12,000.00), to carry on the business of wholesale and/or retail sales of lumber, steel, cement and ploughs. Their customers were mainly wharf owners, wharfingers, warehousemen, carriers, traders in ironmongery, and haberdashery owners from across the island who would come to their locations to conduct business. H&L became Jamaica's foremost hardware and lumber merchants with a core offering of lumber in all grades and all sizes, as well as building materials to satisfy the needs of the construction industry. They were also the only supplier of Ransomes implements, satisfying the needs of the agricultural sector by selling primarily animal and tractor drawn ploughs, harrows and sub soilers, and providing the most complete plough service in heavy and light equipment offered in Jamaica. These products were all imported, initially sourced from England, Canada and the United States, and later as the global marketplace became more accessible, from China, Japan, Honduras, Suriname and the African continent.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2004, Hardware & Lumber Ltd. inherited Jamaica's leading hardware/home improvement retail brands of Rapid Sheffield, H & L True Value, Carib Enterprise and Colour Choice. H&L set out to consolidate its market position, with the objective of creating a universal brand for its retail stores island wide. On October 1, 2005, H&L True Value stores were re-branded, and the company formally introduced its new retail identity Rapid True Value to Jamaica
Grace Agricultural & Industrial Company Limited (GAICO), was registered in 1961. Up until 1968 the company traded as a department of Grace, Kennedy & Company Limited. With GraceKennedy's involvement in the trading of agricultural inputs dating back to 1935. In 1984, the company GAICO was renamed AGRO GRACE. In 2003 AGRO GRACE merged operations with H&L Agri Marine Company and became a subsidiary of Hardware & Lumber Limited in which GraceKennedy Limited had majority ownership until December 2015.
On December 31, 2015, Hardware & Lumber was acquired by Argyle Inc. and subsequently rebranded its divisions to H&L Rapid True Value and H&L Agro (formerly AgroGrace).
Divisions Overview Today Hardware & Lumber Ltd. core business is the retailing and wholesaling of building materials, home improvement supplies, household items, lawn and garden products and agricultural inputs. H&L has the widest distribution network in the hardware and home improvement sector in Jamaica and trades through two operating divisions:
H&L Rapid True Value's product offering includes lumber, paint, hardware, plumbing, tools, lawn and garden supplies, electrical supplies, lighting fixtures, windows, doors, sanitary ware, bathroom accessories, tiles, kitchen cabinets, kitchen accessories, house wares and appliances.
H&L Rapid True Value stores are differentiated by contractor stores and home centres. [Read More...]
H&L Agro is Jamaica's leading distributor and retailer of agricultural inputs. Major product lines for this division include pesticides, fertilizers, vegetable seeds, animal feeds, home garden items, farm equipment, plants, orchids, roses etc. [Read More...]
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