Bob Cameron and Dave Ogle are excited about their new Bunnings deal.
Bob Cameron and Dave Ogle are excited about their new Bunnings deal. Cade Mooney

Rockcote cements deal with Bunnings

JUST when you thought celebrated Coast company Rockcote could not get any more successful, it goes and signs a distribution deal with Bunnings that is worth millions, will create extra jobs and ensure the business thrives in the middle of an economic downturn.

The deal means five of their render products will be stocked in 216 hardware stores nation-wide to capture the increasingly lucrative home do-it-yourself market.

Managing director Bob Cameron said the idea to approach Bunnings came from Paul Woosley, the director of another company already supplying the chain, Tanawha's Australian Prime Fibre.

The two businesses are now likely to partner on freight as they move Coast-made product all over Australia.

But it wasn't just a one-sided approach from Rockcote's business development manager Dave Ogle. Bunnings had already heard of the Yandina company.

"They seem to want to have a better-quality product now and they were really looking for our brand name," he said.

"We think we are small but they had heard about us, even in Melbourne.

"They gave a lot more credence to our name and the perception of quality it would have in the marketplace than we had ever considered.

"(This is worth) in the millions of dollars a year and it takes us from barely surviving in the current climate to thriving.

"You think it's only going to be some bloke buying a few bags to render his barbie, but if you add that up over 216 stores, it's pretty big. We are very excited."

The move also enables Rockcote to balance the business, and service a market other than just the commercial trade sector it supplied for more than two decades.

"When we looked at this 20 years ago there was no market for DIY render," he said.

"Who would have foreseen all the TV shows now where people are rendering their houses or building a pizza oven?

"There is now a huge market for a simplified rendering process and ours only takes four tools to get a professional finish. So never say never. The world is changing all the time."

Rockcote has already shipped $100,000 worth of its masonry mortar this month but will ramp up to get the remaining four products in Bunnings in the coming weeks.

The business has employed another two factory workers and will need "many more" in the near future once data on volumes and Bunnings sales comes in.

And Mr Cameron has vowed not to waver from his customer-centric philosophy, even though this deal now means those customers will be thousands of kilometres away.

 

WHO IS ROCKCOTE?

Started by Bob and Chris Cameron in 1979 "in the back of a ute" as the pair was unable to afford an office.

Multi award-winning company making environmentally friendly building coatings.

Named at number 178 in the 2010 Q400 list of the state's largest companies.

On site at Yandina, there are rainwater harvesting systems, a vegetable garden and chickens.

Won a United Nations Green Building Award for its Gold Coast premises.


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