The Wanganui Furniture Manufacturing Co. was formed on June 15 1916 by Dan (Jim) Wilson and Percy Ginn, both cabinet makers and Alf Anderson, an upholsterer.
A fire in 1921 completely gutted the factory but the three young partners immediately set about replacing the premises with a larger and more modern building. At the same time, to meet the needs of an increasing retail business, extensions were made to the showroom and to the upholstery and mattress making departments.
The 1930’s saw the beginning of the second generation of the three founding families on the staff. Along with other family members Ian Anderson joined the staff as a packer and truck driver, later qualifying as a upholsterer and flooring specialist.
The death of Mr Wilson in 1939, the retirement of Mr Ginn in 1942 and the death of Mr Alf Anderson in 1954 saw the end of an era. Wanganui Furniture Manufacturing Co. remained very much a family business though with Eric, Jack, Ian and Bunt Anderson together with Jack Wilson serving as directors.
In October 1959 the company purchased the current premises in Victoria Ave. In 1961, fire struck the Wanganui East premises again. This allowed re-organisation and modernisation of the workshop and the Wanganui East and Victoria Ave stores. In 1967 the decision was made to close the furniture manufacturing department so they could place more emphasis on retail. The company had been operating a factory for 50 years, employing in its hey-day over 30 cabinet makers.
The 1970’s saw the introduction of the third generation of the Anderson family to the staff. By 1975 Bunt and Ian Anderson were operating the company in partnership until the retirement of Bunt in 1982 when Ian, father of John and Geoff, took full ownership.
In 1976 the company purchased A and T Burt Ltd premises directly behind its Victoria Ave store. This enabled the company to expand and centralise the flooring department under one roof. The original factory and retail shop in Duncan St, Wanganui East closed in 1990. In the late 1990’s the company was rebranded to Wanganui Furnishers to encompass the full range of products on offer and also joined the Composite Retail Group. Composite is a group of privately owned companies which enable buying advantages and access to exclusive product lines.
In 1986 Ian Anderson died, leaving the 3rd generation of Andersons to take over the company. John and Geoff continue to be directors and the 4th generation of Andersons joined the staff in the 2000’s.
Today, Wanganui Furnishers remains a locally owned and operated family business dedicated to personal service and high quality goods.