Fisher and Paykel

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Fisher & Paykel was formed in 1934, after two young friends, Woolf Fisher and Maurice Paykel, managed to sell surplus refrigerators that had been imported by Paykel's family company, Paykel Brothers. With other family members investing capital, the pair opened their first office and showroom on the mezzanine floor of Queen's Arcade, Auckland. Appliance retailing was in its infancy and the small firm supplemented its income by negotiating agencies for other products, such as record players, vacuum cleaners, irons, and toasters.In 1938, import and foreign exchange restrictions forced the firm to consider manufacturing. Orders were sourced on the basis of a mock-up and production of Kelvinator washing machines (under license) was commenced. The declaration of war, the following year, had some unexpected benefits for the infant manufacturer. With washing machines and refrigerators declared an essential industry, the company was protected against closure through lack of raw materials or loss of staff. As a consequence, they were able to expand their business and move to larger, two-storey premises in Carlaw Park Lane. By 1949 the company was producing 600 washing machines, 500 refrigerators, and 700 vacuum cleaners per month and struggling to keep pace with orders from retailers.In 1956, the firm opened a new 48,000 square foot, purpose-built factory in Mt Wellington in 1956 (see Exhibit 5). Within four years, aided by new product launches and a network over 200 dealers throughout New Zealand exclusively marketing Fisher & Paykel product, the factory had expanded to a staff of 600.In the late 1960s, the firm began to turn its attention towards exporting. Selling to countries, such as Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan annual export income rose from $500,000 to $2.4m between 1967 and 1971. At the same time, planning began for a new factory at East Tamaki (13,684 sq m), with twice the production capacity of Mt Wellington. | In 1979, Fisher & Paykel became a public

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