Hume Internationale – a company that’s constantly evolving and always looking out for its customers
Hume’s story is about triumph over adversity, the ability to adapt and a real determination to serve our customers better than anyone else on the planet. We’ve been around forty plus years in a tricky industry that demands plenty of business savvy. We’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge in that time and our commitment to customer service and delivering quality products remains as strong as day one. But any business that has survived this long has clearly been through its ups and downs and yes – we’ve made some mistakes – but we’ve also learned a lot along the way too. Hume Internationale is now an energetic and thriving enterprise that has a long history of making interior design dreams come true, big and small. But how did we evolve into the buoyant and progressive company we are today?
Let’s start with a little history. Hume Internationale was founded by David Hume, whose family has a long history in the wall covering industry dating back to 1898. Their first retail store was built in Geelong West way back in 1915. The Hume Internationale company was established in 1971, operating as Wal-rit Distributors. The business was later sold to S.E. Hobson, another industry pioneer, in 1976. The Hobsons were painting and decorating contractors with a heritage that dated back to the latter part of the 19th Century. They were also the country’s largest distributor of Berger Paints at that time. Under the leadership of S.E. Hobson, the organisation built a reputation for the importing and wholesale of quality wall coverings in the retail market. Barry Walters, the current owner and managing director, purchased the company in 1986. Being part of the wider Hobson family, he continues to develop and grow the business today. No one knows or understands the Australian wallcovering industry better than Barry and his team at Hume Internationale.
We know what we are talking about, we have what you need, with expertise and experience that cannot be matched. We believe there is the perfect solution to every problem and will go further than anyone else to find it – Barry Walters (Hume)
So what were the major challenges in moving the company forward? The wallpapering industry in Australia has emerged through tough times. The market shifted to minimalist painted walls for a long time, but we managed to adapt and evolve by focusing on the critical factors that really matter. You see, in the early days Hume had 30 international suppliers and over 200 wallpaper books. The range was wide but poorly serviced – so we set out to lower our delivery costs, decrease our lead times and increase the flexibility of our range.
We turned everything around, preferring to seek out the very best suppliers and build strong relationships with them. We focused on the right products for the Australian market. We eliminated anything that got in the way of an efficient flexible operation and we handpicked agencies in each state to service customer needs. We now operate only one warehouse centrally located in Melbourne close to the airport – our relationships with our suppliers allow us to air freight product efficiently through our European and US hubs. We engaged some of the top suppliers and moved the company into the commercial wallcovering market. We added upholstery and fabrics, sourced world class wall repair products and developed a new market in kids nursery products through Stikarounds.
The result? A company that uses its industry expertise and customer service commitment to full advantage, making it a pleasure to deal with us every time. So give us a call today on (03) 9335 6711 or read more about the Hume Story here.