THIS week’s closure of Coffs Harbour’s last major independent timber and hardware supplier has sent shockwaves through the local building industry.
The 13 staff at Marlow Timbers were told on Tuesday morning the business was being forced to close.
They spent yesterday filling pre-paid orders before the site was secured with padlocks ahead of the expected arrival of the administrators this morning
Wayne Glenn, from FM Glenn Pty Limited, said he was stunned and saddened to hear of the demise of the business.
“Apart from the fact that David and Suzie were excellent to deal with, back in the 1980s my father was involved in developing their site,” Mr Glenn said.
“It was Mallinsons before it became Gaywood Timbers and then Marlows, so it is like another chunk of Coffs history has been lost.
“We’ve gradually seen a lot of suppliers like Barry Graham Timber Sales and Hudsons disappear so that means less competition in the market, and I don’t think that is a good thing.”
Graz Toscan from Toscan Homes described the Marlow’s closure as a ‘real shame’.
“You always got great service from David and the staff and I will miss the personal touches that came from dealing with a real local family business,” Mr Toscan said. “My only local source of supplies will now be Bunnings.
“Bunnings has great buying power and lower pricing and I suppose all this shows is that in the end you really can’t beat the big boys.
“I have to hand it to David and Suzie, though. They really did work hard to save their business so I am very sad for them on a personal level.”
While David Marlow attributed his business’s demise to a triple whammy of the global financial crisis, local builders going bust and owing them money and last year’s run of floods, he also acknowledged the aggressive pricing and competition of Bunnings had been a significant factor.
“Without a doubt Bunnings and their low margins had a major impact on us,” he said.
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