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Last updated: 10 September 2009

Hallenstein Brothers Limited, Head Office

Collection | Ref # ARC-0041 | Held by Hocken Collections - Uare Taoka o Hakena

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Hallenstein Brothers Limited, Head Office


Hallenstein Brothers Limited

Level of description:



94.00 linear metres

Reference number:



Hallenstein Brothers and Company, initially known as the New Zealand Clothing Factory, began as a partnership between Bendix Hallenstein, his Australian based brothers Isaac and Michaelis and an experienced manufacturer J.F. Anderson. The three brothers were to provide the capital, Anderson the expertise. Isaac and Michaelis in return gave Bendix reciprocal partnerships in their enterprises. This included Michaelis, Hallenstein and Company, a Melbourne based tanning factory set up by the brothers and their maternal uncle Moritz Michaelis. Isaac Hallenstein had also established I. Hallenstein and Company, a business that simply owned property.

To house the New Zealand Clothing Factory and the head office of Hallenstein Brothers and Company, property was bought in Customhouse Square, Dunedin (now the Exchange). Manufacturing began in 1873 with materials bought from Mosgiel Woollen Mills in which Bendix Hallenstein had an interest. After a few years room was needed to expand so the business moved into new premises in Dowling Street.

In 1884 Bendix Hallenstein founded the Drapery and General Importing Company of New Zealand Ltd. initially as a co-operative store. The D.I.C., as it became known, shared a Dunedin and London Head Office with Hallenstein Brothers and Company, and later Hallenstein Brothers Limited, as well as several directors. The London office closed in 1959 because the volume of goods handled had decreased greatly. In the same year a buying link was established with the well-known Sydney-based retailer David Jones Limited. which continued to handle imports for the Company until 1973.

The business of Hallenstein Brothers and Company started as a partnership of the three brothers. In 1893 they were designated senior partners with a share in the partnership going to the son, or, as in the case of Bendix, son-in-laws on the death of a senior partner. In 1905 Bendix died and the following year Hallenstein Brothers and Company was incorporated as a public company Hallenstein Brothers Limited. Share holding was limited to relatives of the original members of the company. In 1921 an amendment was made to the Articles of Association to allow employees to become shareholders and in 1947 shares were listed on the Stock Exchange.

Other major changes to take place over the years were the appointment of an Advertising Manager in 1915. This was handed over to the agency J. Inglis Wright in 1935. Hallensteins also acquired the Wanganui-based company Warnock's Drapery Limited in 1962. In 1979 Hallenstein Properties Limited was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary. The new company became responsible for all the property owning and leasing operations formerly carried out by the parent company. The Wellington-based firm New Zealand Securities and Finance Limited was purchased in 1982 with one of its objectives being to provide financial services for customer credit and retail expansion. The South Island based women's fashion apparel group Glasson's was purchased in 1985. In 1987 a company restructure separated retail and property assets into two companies Prime Realty Limited and Hallenstein Glassons Holdings Limited. In 1988 the decision was made to move the Head Office from Dunedin to Auckland. The decision to relocate, according to then Managing Director, Mr Ian Halstead was dictated by market and distribution factors upon which the growth of the chain depended.

Scope and contents:

This collection includes records of Hallenstein Brothers, D.I.C. New Zealand Limited, Warnock's Drapery Limited, and Hallenstein Family Trusts and Estates. The records include minutes, correspondence, financial records, staff records, property records, advertising, photographs, and other records.

Dates covered:

1873 - 1987

Access conditions:

RESTRICTED : Access requires the written permission of Graeme Popplewell (Finance Director), Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Ltd. Auckland.

Finding aids:

Listed on the 'Hakena' archives and manuscripts catalogue.

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