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Latest Deals | 28th June 2022




Boardmans was the first homeware retail store in South Africa.

Boardmans is considered to be South Africa’s first chain of home stores. The company originally started out as a building supplies store called Sam Newman’s, which was operating in Cape Town. In the late 1970s, a young financial manager employed by Anglo-American Properties – Tom Boardman – was appointed as the acting chief executive of Sam Newman’s. At the time, Anglo-American had a stake in HL&H Group, which owned the stores. The company was struggling, but Tom managed to keep it afloat and was appointed as the CEO by the following year. Boardman saw potential in the retail hardware division of Sam Newman’s and he partnered with a Swiss store designer to have the stores renovated to make them more appealing. The stores’ sales soon picked up, but the HL&H Group, which was focused mainly on the industrial market and wholesaling, did not consider the retail stores to be core to their business. Tom, along with two other business partners, saw the opportunity to buy the 3 stores from HL&H. In 1982, the Boardmans brand was born. The store was a new and unique concept as there were no mass market home goods stores at the time. In order to speed up its growth, 50% of Boardmans equity was sold to the Pick ‘n Pay Group. What followed was a period of expansion between 1985 and 1988. Tom Boardman eventually sold the remainder of the business to Pick ‘n Pay. In 2004, Boardmans was acquired by Edcon, South Africa’s largest non-food retailer, for R94-million.

Boardmans key focus is on providing high-quality and contemporary household goods at affordable prices. The company offers tabletop, kitchenware, bathroom, bedroom and home decor geared towards upper-middle-class consumers from large stores of approximately 910 square metres. There are currently 34 stand-alone Boardmans stores operating in malls around the country, with the range also being available via its e-commerce store (launched in 2014) and in large format Edgars stores. The stores sell their own in-house branded items as well as over 100 international appliance and decor brands such as Philips, Nespresso, Tefal, Jamie Oliver Professional Series, Maxwell & Williams and Russell Hobbs.

In 2016, Boardmans was voted 3rd best in the home accessory category of the 9th annual The Times Sowetan Shopper Survey conducted by TNS.

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