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The Journey

Who we are and what we do, the journey.

1989

In September Vernon and Charles Fleming bought the Lumber City in Montague Gardens. Two months later they bought the Glasshopper (glass and aluminium business) store from the same franchisor.

1991

The Lumber City and Glasshopper in Montague Gardens now occupied all 3 buildings and was a destination store for the DIY trade, builders, carpenters and cabinet makers. In this year Charles Fleming opened his 2nd Lumber City in Paarl where building material, board products, timber and hardware were delivered as far as Prince Alfred Hamlet.

1992

Lumber City Parow saw the light which hugely increased the buying power of our small group.

1993

We added a wholesale board division to our fold in Montague Gardens and named it Board Warehouse. From here we distributed board products in bulk to cut-and-edge stores and the larger cabinet manufacturers.

1994

We opened a Lumber City store in Brackenfell and not long after that Vernon and Charles Fleming bought the Lumber City Franchise. The immediate increase from the initial 7 outlets was startling. The Glasshopper’s name was changed to Glass and Aluminium.

1995

Our Glass & Aluminium in Montague Gardens supplied all 4 these branches with glass, mirrors, patio doors, sidelights and shower doors. The 4 Lumber City’s became well known as destination stores for the DIY trade, builders, carpenters and cabinet makers in the Northern and Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, the West Coast and Boland areas.

1997

Charles Fleming bought a building in Montague Gardens and converted it to the Lumber City Franchise Office. The main focus was directed on the expansion of the Lumber City’s throughout Southern Africa. Gradually Charles Fleming sold all his Lumber City trading stores and the Glass and Aluminium to drive the expansion goals of the Franchise Office.

2001

Charles Fleming’s father and mentor pass away. The expansion of the Lumber City Group was incredible. In one year we opened 13 stores throughout South Africa and it could rightfully said that in our industry we were “The Fastest Growing Franchise in the West”.

2006

The Lumber City Franchise was a force in the industry and Charles Fleming left the managing of the franchise to his managing director at the time. He sought a new challenge. Growing up in the industry, Charles Fleming’s 2 sons, Jonathan and Vernon became of age and wished to become involved in business. In September the 1st Alunite opened it’s doors in Montague Gardens. Jonathan managed the business and Vernon was in charge of production.

2008

Charles Fleming spent 2 years, using his sons’ Alunite as a guinea-pig to develop systems such as calculating-, quoting-, job card-, pricelist – and training systems that was eventually incorporated in probably one of the most comprehensive Operations Manual. The goal – to franchise Alunite. The 1st independent Alunite franchise opened in Brackenfell and soon afterwards, a branch in Killarney Gardens.

2009

Jonathan and Vernon Fleming sold the Alunite in Montague Gardens and opened a new Alunite store in Parow in 2010. Our 4th independent Alunite Franchise opened in Sandton

2010

Alunite Parow was sold this year and Jonathan moved to the Lumber City and Alunite Franchise Office in Montague Gardens to assist with the expansion of this franchise.

2011-2015

With all the retail and manufacturing experience and intimate knowledge of the needs of new franchisees, Jonathan soon played a pivotal role at the Alunite Franchise Office. By 2012 he was responsible for the expansion of the franchise – from negotiating with the potential franchisee, the training, culminating all the aspects of the procedures for the opening of the new branch and ultimately providing support in the initial stages. During this time, he opened approximately another 10 independent Alunite Franchises

2016

By the end of June, another 6 Alunite stores opened. In May, Dirk Engelbrecht, who has 30 years experience in the aluminium and glass trade, joined us in Wellington to not only serve as a representative of Alunite Boland, but also as Jonathan’s right hand at the Franchise Office. His experience and knowledge of the industry is of immeasurable value. The decision to move the Franchise Office from Montague Gardens to Wellington in the Boland, was not taken lightly. The expansion of the group necessitated the establishment of a franchise – owned Alunite store that can also serve as a training store. Alunite Boland started trading in June.