Nichol's Long History
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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



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