Hardware, Trade and Gardening

Paint brush and Colour Swatches hardware Hardware stores sell to households, businesses and tradespeople - although major builders would buy from a wholesaler. Retail products include building materials; hand and power tools; paint supplies; plumbing fixtures; nails, screws and other fasteners; along with key gardening needs such as tools; watering equipment; lawnmowers and fertilisers.

Garden and nursery retailer product ranges includes a variety of plants and trees, fertilisers, garden ornaments, gardening tools, pot plants, seeds and other items like bags of compost. As with other retail sectors, businesses can choose to specialise in a particular product or offer a diverse range as with larger warehouse type stores that include trade, hardware and gardening departments. Over 4,000 people work in South Australian hardware stores, about half as sales assistants.

Three in every five people who walk in the door of a hardware store are home renovators. Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects have been made popular by television shows and have changed the 'look' and 'feel' of hardware retail - while drought conditions, smaller backyards and the amount of time people are willing to spend working in the garden have meant the gardening sector has become more 'inventive'.

South Australians spend more than $83 million a month on hardware and garden supplies.

Hardware, Trade & Gardening Sector Leaflet

Download the Hardware, Trade and Gardening Sector Leaflet (2.8MB)



Melanie Pink

Mel PinkName: Melanie Pink
Age: 39
Place of work: Pink's Mitre 10
Role: Retail Manager
Qualifications: Certificate IV in Finance
Estimated salary range for this job role: $41K - $60K

Originally I worked in the banking sector and just filled my weekends working at Mitre 10 - but, when the opportunity arose, I switched to full-time in the store and later became Retail Manager. Apart from accounts and stock control, my role involves staff functions such as rosters, meetings, budgets and mentoring. I enjoy this aspect most - along with customer service. Working in retail has taught me to have high expectations of service and presentation. With all the products we have available, there is continual in-store training opportunities. This includes product sessions and professionally-run customer service training.

No day is the same in this industry. You get the chance to help people with their projects and every customer's need is different.


Jose Mira

Jose Name: Jose Mira
Age: 40
Place of work: Tradelink Plumbing Centres
Role: Assistant Manager
Qualifications: Clerical Finance - Certificate in Competence, Diploma in Accounting, Certificate I, II and III in Retail and currently undertaking Certificate IV in Retail Management

Although I have only worked in retail for three years, I've been able to move up to Assistant Manager by being results-driven and accepting training opportunities. Now I help the business meet targets through my role in customer service, expense management, performance management, marketing and financial management. I really enjoy customer interaction and initiating teamwork among staff members, but also the more 'technical' side such as financial management and analysing reports.

Seeing others promoted in my workplace motivated me to work through the Retail Certificates and I'd encourage others to actively participate in company provided training. Guidance and support from other staff will help - and it's great for job satisfaction and strengthening your self-confidence.