Nichol's Long History
We've been around since 1865, read about our fascinating history...
From horse and coach to railways and whaling; from seed and grain to poultry and stock food; from garden fertiliser to garden centres – the Nichol’s brand is a proud Otago and Southland tradition.
This tradition continues today with our modern garden centres offering not only the best range and quality of plants and gardening products available, but a list of services covering landscaping products and services, garden consultation and a pet warehouse.
Over 150 Years of Trading in Otago & Southland
1865 - Samuel Nichol founds the company.
1874 - Expands into wool and grain storage and Samuel's brother George joins the business.
1890 - Expands operations in grain and wool trade and as general merchants.
1917 - Fire destroys Nichol Bros grain stores in Bluff.
1924 - Samuel Nichol dies and a second generation, Ernest and his two sisters, continue to control the business.
1946 - Ernest Nichol, son of Ernest, takes control of the business. Expands in Invercargill into stock and poultry foods.
1948 - Dunedin branch of Nichol's opens.
1951 - First South Island production of sheep nuts achieved.
1954 - E. S. Nichol opens new department store in Bluff.
1960 - Expands into machinery with the New Zealand agency for the Alvan Blanch grain drier.
1965 - Celebrates century of trading. Expands into garden fertilisers and automates stock food factories in Dunedin and Invercargill. Neville Dippie begins work managing the Dunedin operations.
1969 - Fire destroys Dunedin stock food factory in Bachop St.
1973 - Nichol's moves to Timaru St, Dunedin.
1976 - Nichol's ventures into gardening.
1984 - Neville and Gaynor Dippie purchase Nichol's Garden Market.
1985 - Allan Dippie joins the business and Nichol's Landscaping is formed.
1988 - Martin Dippie joins Allan in the business.
1991 - Fire destroys Nichol's main factory in Invercargill.
1993 - Martin buys Jac's Mitre 10 and branches out on his own. Willowridge Developments is formed in Wanaka and the company subdivision projects begin.
1995 - Nichol's buys Young's Garden Centre in Invercargill.
1996 - Landscaping branch in Wanaka added.
1998 - Nichol's buys Precision Paving and starts manufacturing paving and concrete products.
2000 - Wanaka-based contracting and civil construction company Central Machine Hire Ltd is added.
2004 - Nichol's buys Evandale Gardens in Invercargill.
2009 - Opens purpose-built complex in Cromwell.
2014 - Major renovation and expansion of Dunedin garden centre; cafe and Pet Warehouse added.
2015 - Celebrates 150 years' trading.
Visit our history page to see images throughout the years and a more indepth view of Nichol's history