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Looking forward to 100 years in 2020

Our history

It's taken 100 years and thousands of people to create Reece. Products, technologies and territories have changed, but leadership, team spirit and unswerving customer service remain constant.

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New ideas have always been part of Reece. In the early days we called it entrepreneurialism. Now we call it innovation.


The Reece story begins with two pioneers. In 1920 HJ Reece began selling plumbing products from the back of his truck and later opened the first HJ Reece store in Caulfield. In 1961 Alan Wilson opened Austral Hardware in Lilydale and later in Warburton. The two groups merged after the death of HJ Reece and Alan Wilson became General Manager of both groups of stores. Alan was a hands on manager who led by example and Reece’s values have evolved from his fair, honourable and inclusive leadership style.


With advice from Les Wilson, Alan’s father and long time HJ Reece board member, Reece expanded rapidly from a handful of stores in Melbourne. It started in Victoria and spread through Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. The expansion occurred through acquisition of plumbing and hardware stores as well as the development of greenfield sites. In 1994 Reece had 60 stores across the country. By 2000, it had 177, as well as a passionate team of managers captivated by being part of the momentum.


In the new century, Reece began to set its sights beyond Australia, sourcing products internationally and in 2006 expanding to New Zealand. Today, under the leadership of Peter Wilson, Reece has 600 outlets across ANZ and sources products from more than 20 countries. Current growth is as much about diversity and complexity as size. Reece has expanded into new segments of the industry, adding HVAC-R, civil, irrigation & pools to its plumbing and bathroom core, once again acquiring and developing businesses in these fields. With a strong focus on innovation, there is much more to come.