A BRIEF HISTORY

The company was established by Neil Breckenridge in 1977, after leaving the hardware giant McEwan’s on the Gold Coast.  When Neil started out, he represented only a handful of companies, supplying vitreous china bathroom products, polymarble shower trays, and textile products such as carpets and curtains.

The business steadily grew through the late 70’s to the late 80’s, trading as sales commission agents for various manufacturers, specialising in servicing the hardware and plumbing resellers across Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales.  The 1980’s started to see dramatic changes to the structure of the hardware and plumbing market through the southern states, with the effects being felt in Southern Queensland in the mid to late 1980’s.  This necessitated a change of direction for the business, which also resulted in a change in geography.

The company relocated to Cairns – Far North Queensland in the late 1980’s, adapting from a sales and marketing commission agency to a wholesale company providing commission-based sales services.  The company introduced a number of brands into North Queensland, that were established by N.B. Agencies to become household names in the hardware and plumbing industry.  Based in Cairns, the company serviced all areas by road south to Rockhampton and west to Mount Isa, a geographically huge area covering over 600,000 km2

The company opened a warehouse in Townsville in the early 1990’s and evolved its business model to provide administration and warehousing services, to complement its strong commission-based sales portfolio, whilst ceasing all wholesale activities.  Technological advancements aside, the company still operates under the same basic framework 30 years later, providing full branch services, warehousing, and frontline sales, all on a commission basis.

Further changes in the industry saw Rockhampton being serviced from the South East corner, ending most North Queensland Agents business dealings in Rockhampton, Blackall, Barcaldine, Emerald, Longreach and Winton.  N.B. Agencies closed its operation in Cairns, relocating to its Townsville facility in the suburb of Currajong, to refocus on the evolving market in North Queensland and the Pacific Islands.

In the late 1990’s the company purchased a warehouse facility in the inner-city suburb of West End Townsville, where it has been operating from since.  Due to the increase in exclusively branded product in the retail plumbing market, the decision was made in 2018 to secure a nearby secondary warehouse, to put in a purpose built 90m2 by appointment only showroom.  This space was designed to display our general range domestic bathroom products and specialised commercial plumbing solutions for architects, builders, plumbers and end users, and provide valuable product training sessions to the reseller network.

 

The rest as they say is history……

 

The company is second generation family owned almost 45 years later.  Now trading as N.B. Agencies (QLD) Pty Ltd, we are a locally owned company with a connected local team.  We specialise in developing new customers and generating additional sales for the companies that we represent.   Our local team now provide full branch services, managing everything from warehousing, order processing and despatch, to aftersales and warranty management.  Our external sales provide full frontline services and customer relationship management, backed up by consistent monthly call cycles through the company’s service area in North Queensland, which stretches southwest to Sarina and Moranbah, west to Mount Isa and North to the tip of Queensland, covering all cities and towns in between.

Pre-COVID, the company also serviced the Pacific Islands, including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Micronesia.  The customers in these areas are still actively serviced, but physical sales calls are not possible at this time.