King & Wilson - Removalists in Australia for over 100 years: A history

Published: 19th March 2010
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King and Wilson is a moving company based in Melbourne Australia, an independent removalist firm that was founded in 1907 and is one of Australia's longest running family businesses.

The History of King & Wilson

Founded in 1907 by Archibald Wilson as a Melbourne based parcel service, it involved members of the King family and Wilson family. In 1909, they extended their services to offer furniture removals as well. The business had depots in Collins Street in the city of Melbourne as well as the suburb of Malvern. Removals were undertaken using horse drawn furniture pantechnicons.

Maintaining the business during the war years was difficult, as many drivers were lost to the war. Despite this, the business survived and continued to prosper with the demand for storage leading the firm to establish storage repositories in Armadale and Caulfield.

In 1920, Archibald Wilson took control of the business. It was at this time that King & Wilson decided to cease operating the parcel express and instead focus on removals and storage.

Like many firms, King & Wilson experienced difficulty keeping the business afloat during the 1930s depression. King & Wilson continued to operate during this challenging time by cutting costs and maintaining their staff by agreeing to reduce work-loads rather than letting them go. The company even purchased a local wood and coal supply business to help generate additional work.

By the 1940's, because the company had maintained its staff-levels, King & Wilson were ready to expand as commerce improved and the company purchased a long distance van and commenced interstate work.

At the start of the 1950's the company had invested in a fleet of long distance vans and continued to grow their interstate businesses. This surge in demand led King & Wilson to invest in a new storage facility in the suburb of Dandenong, in south-east Melbourne. The Dandenong warehouse and depot was subsequently expanded up throughout the 1960's and 70's as the demographic centre of Melbourne moved further and further east.

During the 1990's King & Wilson was a pioneer in developing the use of 20' steel containers for interstate removals and short term storage. The advent of inter-modal container removals revolutionised the Australian removals industry and resulted in much greater interstate moving capacity and the development of the Australian Movers Group (AMG). The AMG commenced formal operations in 1991 with branches in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide. The group has since expanded to become Australia's largest independent moving alliance, comprising of eighteen branches around Australia. The period 2000-2006 saw significant changes in the King & Wilson business model as it experienced rapid sales growth and increased its share of the Melbourne market. The company also commenced operations in Sydney and moved re-entered the international removals market.

In 2003, a decision was made to sell the company's historic Melbourne head office site in High Street, Armadale and consolidate this office and the Dandenong warehouse into a single large facility in the east of Melbourne. A 150,000 square metre site in Mt Waverley was selected and the business relocated there in 2003.

In response to demand from its Sydney based clientele the company commenced operations in Sydney in 2001. A partnership with a local moving company (The Bay Removal Co) allowed King & Wilson to enter the Sydney marketplace primarily servicing interstate and international clients. The Sydney office and depot was based in the inner Sydney suburb of Alexandria. This business partnership continued for several years until 2004 when The Bay Removal Co brand was retired completely.

In 2005, King & Wilson was sold by Graeme Wilson to his son Andrew Wilson and Chris Dash from The Bay Removal Co. In 2006, the Sydney operation moved from Alexandria to a much larger site in the inner western suburb of Ermington. The establishment of the Ermington branch has positioned the company's Sydney based resources at a level which rivals the more established Melbourne branch and has allowed for a significant increase in international and domestic moving services.

In July 2008, after more than 15 years of close AMG agent relations, King & Wilson acquired the Holbrook Removals business in Canberra. Located in the suburb of Hume, this new branch will look to build upon the range of services to include a greater focus on interstate and international moving, particularly in the corporate market in the ACT and surrounding areas. King & Wilson's management and staff are justifiably proud of the contribution our company has made to the modern Australian moving industry. They continue to invest in the latest technologies, equipment and training and our attention is very much focused on the future. They look forward to our next century of service.

Management Team

Andrew Wilson - Managing Director, Victoria

Managing Director Andrew Wilson is 5th generation and a direct descendent of Archibald Wilson and continues the strong tradition of Wilson family members in the business. Andrew became MD in 2001.

Andrew is a member of the Australian Movers Group (AMG) board of directors. Andrew also holds the position of Vice Chairman for the Australian International Movers Association (AIMA) and has been a national councillor (Victorian region) for the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA). He regularly travels overseas to strengthen and develop agent relationships and to benchmark King & Wilson's operations against world's best practice.

Chris Dash - Managing Director, NSW

Chris Dash has over twenty years experience in the removals industry. Chris' background is in the development and management of high quality and customer focused furniture removals and storage services. His investment in the King & Wilson brand together with his shared vision for innovative managed moving solutions tailored to meet the demands of the most fastidious customers; has seen King & Wilson quickly develop into a highly regarded business with a unique presence in the NSW and ACT national and international removals market.

Chris is an active member of the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) and was involved as a founding member of this organisation.


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