126 Years Of Helping Builders Grow Their Business

126 years helping Australians build Bowens is a fourth-generation family owned Australian business and market leader in supplying the largest variety of quality timber and building supplies in Australia. With Delivery, Click + Collect and 16 stores throughout Melbourne and Regional Victoria, Bowens offers an extensive range of building materials, hardware and on-site hire products suitable for all stages of the building process.

Supporting Builders Every Step Of The Way

Bowens has over 35 industry trained, experienced sales representatives helping builders with onsite advice and product support, ensuring no down time occurs and that materials arrive on time. Our representatives are backed by almost over 500 friendly and professional staff, offering quality advice and personalised service.

We proudly provide builders with an extensive range of trade-grade, well-priced building materials and hardware. This includes prefabricated roof trusses and wall frames, timber and windows, feature flooring, portable onsite hire, framing, outdoor, lock-up and fixing materials with a complete range of general and builders’ hardware.

To support your customers further, we now offer services such as delivery, Click + Collect as well as on site expert advice by highly trained professionals.

The second industrial revolution

The era of electric streetlights, Melbourne was our capital city and a small family company called Bowen & Pomeroy was formed.

March 7, 1899

A newspaper press release announced Bowen & Pomeroy to Melbourne which solidified Bowens as a household name across Victoria.

World War I

Bowens doubled its staff to over 100 team members, but then dropped to 60 after WWI where the company saw a number of its employees serve in France and across Europe.

The Great Depression

Bowens boomed as did the rest of Melbourne with our first influx of migrants and the return of servicemen and women.
Bowens assisted Victoria’s industrial development and imported one of the first motion roller recutting bandsaws into Victoria. This was purchased to a fore-fill order to supply Oregon beams and framing to build the Ford Motor factory in Geelong.

Tragedy strikes

Bowens sadly lost two of their own, Richard Bowen (59) and Redmond Pomeroy (66) within three months. Richards only son, John Bowen, was to fill his shoes and became Managing Director in 1931.

Bowens nearly lost their business, staff tumbled to 30 and Australia was suffering through a recession.

Bowen & Pomeroy supplied timber for projects during WW2 including the Ballarat Army Camp and the American Army and Airforce bases in the Pacific.

Baby boomers & Pop Culture

By the mid 50s, most homes had a TV set, the first passenger jet had entered service and Rock and Roll was embraced.

The Olympic Games was hosted in Melbourne and Bowens proudly supplied timber for the temporary seating across the venues.

The company opened its first branch in outer Melbourne, Mount Evelyn.

John Bowen travelled to the United States and returned to Australia convinced that the future of the company lay in further expansion of the suburbs. He always saw an untouched sector, the ‘Do It Yourself’ in the Australian market.

July, 1976

Bowens opened their first Home Improvement Centre in Bentleigh East (formally Oakleigh South).

100 Years

Australia was going through yet another recession, and Bowens went through their 100-year anniversary and opened another store in Taylors Lakes. The change in the market provided them with ‘a real focus, driving the business towards the builder market’ and by the end of 1995, Bowens had reason to be cautiously optimistic about the future.

Bowens acquired land in Laverton to develop a new store, the first new store since 1994 and was the first venture in Melbourne’s West.

Commonwealth Games

Bowens proudly supplied the Commonwealth Games Village in Parkville. The Village was designed to house roughly 6000 athletes and officials and incorporated the heritage site of the former Royal Park Psychiatric Hospital on a 20-hectare site.

After 113 years, Bowens made their way in to Regional Victoria by acquiring Geoff’s Timber Supplies in Shepparton and Phillip Island.

Bowens opens another store, Melbourne’s northern fringe in Epping. At this time, Bowens employed over 500 staff with 12 stores, 2 prefabrication sites and sold over 28,000 product lines.

In 2011, Bowens acquired Timbertruss, a prefabrication manufacturer in Geelong, Victoria. While maintaining the company’s senior management and operations, Bowens successfully integrated its own prefabrication services with Timbertruss to create the largest prefabrication supplier in Australia.

With manufacturing facilities now in Geelong and Brisbane, Timbertruss is the largest prefabrication supplier in Australia and continues to innovate across the building industry.

Bowens opened their Port Melbourne store.

Timbertruss expanded into Queensland, acquiring Northside Trusses & Frames in Brendale.

Bowens launched the
‘Call-In-Express’ service. Customers were able to call or email their local store to make an order, have the ordered prepared within an hour, receive a confirmation SMS when an order is ready, pick-up their order via an express lane and checkout through an express counter.

The company purchased 14 hectares of land in Corio, Victoria to build a new manufacturing facility that includes Timbertruss’ headquarters and two large factories with state-of-the-art prefabrication technology from Europe, the US and the UK. Timbertruss would soon consolidate all Victorian manufacturing to Corio – the largest prefabrication facility in Australia.

Bowens products were used in 50% of new dwellings constructed in Victoria in 2017-2018.

Bowens opens new stores in Brunswick and Pakenham in Victoria. Between FTEs for Bowens & Timbertruss, the company supports a total of 3,219 jobs in local and state economies having a profound impact on the growth of construction in Australia.

Bowens launched ‘Showroom by Bowens’. A new, architecturally designed showroom in Port Melbourne. The space showcases innovative building products and a refined selection of flooring, doors, door hardware, interior linings, architraves, skirting, moulding and acoustics.

January

13 metropolitan Melbourne stores can be accessed by almost one third of the population or 1.6 million people within a ten-minute drive.

Bowens currently employs over 550 staff across its 16 stores, Distribution Centres, Showroom and Support Offices in Victoria, while Timbertruss employs over 500 staff in Victoria and Queensland.

December

Bowens launches a new eCommerce website in December 2020 – ranging over 15,000 products online and soon to expand across all product categories for online shopping with the options of express delivery or Click + Collect in store.