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The Builders Story

Builders  is the store of choice for all your building, DIY and home improvement solutions. We have amassed a group of stores around the country and on the continent that strive to provide everything you need to get things done. From humble beginnings, we are proud to operate 103 stores today:

This includes 5 stores in Africa and the expansion programme continues:

  • 1 x Builders Warehouse Zambia (Lusaka);

  • 2 x Builders Warehouse Mozambique (Tete & Matola);

  • 2 x Builders Warehouse Botswana (Francistown & Gaborone). 

But it did not start like this. The history of Builders reveals a South African narrative of entrepreneurship that was born in Pretoria in the late 1800’s by the Lewis family. This business cemented its legacy, over a period spanning more than a century, as it passed through the generations, from father to son, and grew to a group of 5 stores. 

The successful family business attracted the attention of Massmart, the second largest distributor of consumer goods in Africa and by 2003, a deal was signed which transferred ownership to the retail group and created Massbuild. 

Once Massbuild had taken time to assess the home improvement and building materials market, it embarked on an aggressive acquisition trail which witnessed the purchase of 51 stores countrywide. 

This included the purchase of:

  • 3 De La Rey stores in the Western Cape which were rebranded Builders Warehouse;

  • 14 Servistar stores in Kwazulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape which were rebranded Builders Express; and

  • 34 Federated Timbers stores   which were rebranded Builders Trade Depot. 

Over time, the acquisition honeymoon resulted in a rock-solid marriage and it became clear that a unified visual representation of the nationwide businesses had to be developed. During 2007, the rebranding of Builders Express, Builders Warehouse and Builders Trade Depot was completed and by this time, there were 56 stores within the Builders stable. 

So when Walmart cast its eye towards South Africa in 2012, Massmart, with its growing Massbuild basket and other retail interests, was a viable investment option as part of its African expansion. The deal resulted in 51% ownership of Massmart transferred to the international retail giant, a move which had a significant impact on the South African retail scene. 

This lead to the creation of a new format Builders store in 2013. The Builders Superstore, bringing the total Massbuild offering to 4 different store types, is aimed at homes in townships and rural and developing areas that would ordinarily benefit from government infrastructural spend as well as small contractors. By 2014, it was clear that a consolidated brand was inevitable and the Builders master brand was developed. 

And the Builders journey continues as we regularly monitor our customer service levels and ensure that our product and process innovation leads the way. 

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Call 0860 284 533 our friendly contact centre staff can assist with quotation requests, product enquiries and account queries.

We’d love to get your feedback on how we are doing.