The GB Group
History of the Guthrie Bowron Group
Guthrie Bowron was founded in 1896 by Dunedin born Henry Guthrie who was later joined by George Bowron from Rangiora. Henry travelled the Central Otago region by buggy selling sweets and ale while George covered the Christchurch and West Coast regions.
In the mid 1920's Guthrie Bowron became involved in importing lacquer, varnish, lead and linseed oil - the base ingredients for paint at the time. In 1932 the Company was appointed agent for Dulux Paints and around this time opened a wallpaper shop in Christchurch.
Guthrie Bowron became a public company in 1963 and by 1969 had 18 branches throughout the country retailing mainly paint and wallpaper. In 1971 the company was purchased by ICI (NZ) Ltd the owner and manufacturer of the Dulux paint brand and by 1985 had 34 outlets. In 1992 Guthrie Bowron was sold to a team of senior managers who set about franchising the stores. This resulted in growth over the next decade.
In 2005 Guthrie Bowron was sold to investment company Waterman Holdings Limited. Operations Manager Colin Jones was appointed General Manager of the business and Brendan Martin was recruited as Marketing Manager. The team at Group Office is charged with supporting the network and growing the business for the benefit of all stakeholders.
In February 2011 Steve Salmon was appointed General Manager. Steve is a career retailer, having 30 years retail experience in NZ and the United Kingdom. Most recently Steve was General Manager Operations with Briscoe Group having responsibility for the Briscoe, Rebel Sport and Living and Giving retail stores.
Steve has spent 13 years with Briscoe Group in various roles including General Manager of Rebel Sport. Prior to this Steve worked in a number of retail focused roles at Levene for 12 years, including Store Manager, Area Manager, National Operations Manager.