Hutt City Libraries Online Heritage Collection > Texts

Petone's First 100 Years (1940)

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Growing with New Zealand —72 Years' Leadership in the Footwear Industry …

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Robert Hannah's first shop, Charleston, West Coast. Opened February, 1868.

Of Robert Hannah it can truthfully be said that" he builded better then he knew."
'Way back in 1868, Robert Hannah, a go-ahead young man from the North of Ireland, opened a footwear shop in Charleston, on the West Coast.
From the first, he determined to stock only high-grade boots and shoes, and to sell them at the lowest possible prices. With such a policy it is not surprising that his business should have grown apace, and in 1874 it was deemed advisable to transfer headquarters to Wellington.
Since then, the growth and development of the firm has been one of the great commercial romances of New Zealand, until to-day its ramifications extend from one end of the country to the other.
By virtue of the unquestioned quality and value of their New Zealand- made footwear, Hannah's have become the largest manufacturers in the Dominion of high-grade boots and shoes, Hannah's Modern Shoe Factory producing over 7,000 pairs every week.
To illustrate the value to New Zealand of this important secondary industry, it is only necessary to state that Hannah's use every month over £8,000 worth of New Zealand hides and other materials, which is of real assistance to our vital primary industries.
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Hannah's sell only through their own retail shops, of which there are 42, situated from Whangarei to Invercargill. This eliminates the middleman's profit, and ensures maximum value to their thousands of customers. Prices are uniform at every Branch.
Hannah's is New Zealand-owned and staffed. In Factory, Warehouse, and Retail Shops, Hannah's employ 750 New Zealand workers, who receive over £3,000 weekly in wages and salaries.

Business Commenced in Petone.

Recognising that Petone was growing into a progressive residential district, and, in addition, promised to become the most important industrial area in New Zealand, Hannah's decided, in 1913, to open a Branch at 256 Jackson Street.
This store served very well until the continued expansion of Petone made larger premises essential. In 1927, the shop in Jackson Street was remodelled and extended, and became the modern footwear store now so well known to Petone residents.
It is perhaps worthy of mention in this publication that the father of the present Mayor of Petone, the late Mr. G. T. London (himself Mayor of Petone for many years) was a staunch personal friend of the late Mr. Robert Hannah.
Hannah's are proud of their long association with Petone, and will continue to the best of their ability, to offer a complete footwear service, making available to the people better boots and shoes at lower prices.
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The huge modern factory where Hannah Footwear is manufactured to-day. The largest and most up-to-date Shoe Factory in New Zealand.

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