The Hirsch’s group, the largest independently owned appliance and electronics retail
the outlet in Southern Africa has a lot to celebrate. This month marks their 42nd year
in business and unlike many retail outlets that have experienced significant losses in
business during the pandemic, the end of their financial year saw Hirsch’s achieve
well over their budget.
Founder of the company, Allan Hirsch said that when they predicted their budget for the year 2021, they looked for quite aggressive growth, but then at the end of March
2020 they assumed that this was never going to happen. “However, fortunately, we
are in an industry that has benefited from the situation we’re in. The home space has
been the focal point for many consumers and there has been a huge demand for
home goods. As a result, we have achieved well over our budget. We have had an
amazing year and we are truly grateful to our customers, our staff, and our suppliers,
all of whom have helped attribute to our success”.
An appliance repairman who unwittingly became an entrepreneur, Allan Hirsch and
his wife Margaret started their family-run appliance business in a tiny showroom in
Umhlanga Rocks Drive, Durban, in 1979 with just R900 that they had saved.
They started off small but built a strong base of customers over the years, first with
repairs and second-hand repaired appliances and then into a fully-fledged appliance
retailer.
After leaving school Allan joined Fuchsware where he spent 5 years learning all
there was to know about refrigerator repair.
Hirsch said that if it was not for his wife’s belief in him (she insisted he see a
the specialist who diagnosed dyslexia, a problem that had seen his self-esteem
plummet during his schooling years) he would still be repairing fridges today.
Finding out that he was dyslexic changed his life and gave him the courage and
determination to start the business and grow it into one of the best entrepreneurial
success stories in South Africa.
Over the last forty-two years, Hirsch’s have had the joy of serving young married
couples and helping them to set up their first homes with everything from the air
conditioning unit to the tiniest kitchen gadget. With their in-store service and spares
the department, they have helped couples to resolve issues that sometimes arise with
their appliances, replacing parts, and sending out technicians if necessary, to help
solve a problem.
In 2002, the company brought their Hirsch’s Homestore concept to Gauteng, and in
2012 they opened their first branch in Cape Town. Today they own 18 branches in
KZN, Gauteng, and the Cape. Despite recessions and the global economic crisis, the
Hirsch’s are upbeat about South Africa and their expansion plans in the face of the
downturn attest to this.
Concludes Allan and Margaret’s son Richard Hirsch, CEO of the company, “We
might be a family business, but our growth and success is due to all our customers

and our family of 850 permanent staff and some 400 casual employees and owner
drivers. We’ve established ourselves as a place to buy your first appliance and we
build relationships with customers so they come back” he says.