Unleashing the power of independence in building hardware and retail

Even though the name does not ring a bell in the consumer mind, for the Hardware and Building industry EST Building is like a crescendo of bell ringing.

EST management team.

While the name EST Building may not immediately strike a chord with consumers, within the Hardware and Building it is a symphony of success and is widely recognised and respected. 

With over 1 000 member stores banded together, EST Building constitutes a formidable  force to ensure that the Independent Retailer survives in South Africa regardless of the  size of the competition it faces.  

This electrifying force might perceivably be lurking in the shadows of the business  world, but it certainly prefers action over idle chatter – as attested by its members. 

But what exactly is EST?  

Picture this: A band of fearless independents, united in their quest to take on the  Goliaths of retail. That’s where EST comes in. Born in 2007, Elite Star Trading Africa  (EST) first emerged as a beacon of hope for small-scale FMCG retailers, tired of being  overshadowed by corporate giants. This proven model eventually expanded into the  Building and Hardware industries for the same reason, giving rise to EST Building.  

Louis Greeff, the trailblazing managing director, sums it up perfectly: “EST Building  exists today for the same reason it was established in 2012 when independent  Hardware and Building Retailers banded together. We refused then to let the big chains  monopolise the terms of trade and we still hold that position in 2024. Our mission has  never changed. It is simply to level the playing field and empower our member stores  to stand tall in the face of adversity.”  

“Today EST Building is a force to be reckoned with. With a laser focus on growth,  innovation, and community, we have and are still rewriting the rules of the game. Our  strategy is simple yet revolutionary: Amplify turnover, expand our footprint, and  revolutionise the retail landscape,” Greeff says.  

But EST is not just about numbers. It’s a movement – a revolution fuelled by passion  and purpose. Their FMCG division is the stuff of legends, dominating shelves from  South Africa to sub-Saharan Africa. And their Hardware and Building Supplies division?  It’s a game-changer, empowering retailers with access to top brands and unbeatable  buying power that they could hardly dream of as individual operators.  

Rob Suttle, the maestro behind the merchandising magic at EST Building, puts it best:  “EST Building & Hardware isn’t just a business – it’s a lifeline for many independent  retailers. We’re levelling the playing field, one brick at a time. With EST, you get the  best of both worlds: the strength of a collective and the individual freedom to chart  your own path. We look at the future and are creating a legacy for our children that  includes employment not just profit.”  

 “But wait, there’s more,” says Suttle. “At EST, we believe in giving back as much  as we get. That’s why we’re not just partners – we’re family. From annual breakaways  to charity golf days, we’re all about spreading joy and camaraderie. Because at the end  of the day, it’s about people and living life to enjoy the effort expended on labours that  are very trying and demanding nowadays.”  

 So, if you’re tired of playing by someone else’s rules, it’s time to make a change… it’s  quite easy with the straight-forwards system that EST manages, and it does not  hamstring performers.  

To coin their phrase: after all, business is not a solo journey!  

Join the EST revolution today and reclaim your independence. Call EST on 011 383  1900 or send an email to [email protected].  

Digital issue View Archive

DiY News April 2024

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Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za