In 1885 Alfred Lawrence, as an adventurous junior clerk, became Australian representative for the giant British General Electric Company and was soon to found the electrical company which would bear his name for a century and more. Lawrence had been asked to go to Australia soon after joining the company. The British General Electric Company had asked for a volunteer from among the company’s staff but it seems no-one was keen to travel Down Under. Alfred Lawrence was not exactly press-ganged into taking the post but was told that such an opportunity might only be presented to a man once in a lifetime; he took the job. On arrival, Lawrence tramped the streets of Melbourne taking orders for BGE and relaying them back to London via telegraph but it was arduous work and failed to satisfy his ambition. In 1886, Lawrence moved to Sydney and opened the doors of ‘Alfred Lawrence, Electrical Merchants, Engineers & Importers’ for trading on 19 November in Wynyard Street. Lawrence had only been in business for little more than a year and was incredulous as the much sought after lighting goods literally came in the back door from the wharves and were carried out the front by willing customers.
Canny Lawrence saw what was about to happen – Sydney was about to run out of lighting. Backing his judgement and using his own capital plus some from close friends, Lawrence cabled a rush order to England for several thousand pounds worth of lighting equipment – lamps, cable and fittings, and by the time it arrived some weeks later, young Alfred virtually held the only substantial stocks of lighting equipment in the city. It was a tremendous windfall and greatly helped establish the business which had struggled. The year was 1889 and that electric lighting pioneer Sir Henry Parkes was making his first passionate plea for ‘a great national government for all Australia’ during an address at Tenterfield, NSW. A mutual friend, Arthur Cox, introduced Alfred Lawrence to Arthur ‘Jerry’ Hanson, suggesting the two men form a partnership. Both men could immediately see the advantages – Lawrence was both snowed under with work and short of capital to do anything about it. Arthur Hanson brought a much-needed energy and acute accounting and business acumen to complement Lawrence’s practical knowledge of all things electric. That year ‘The Lawrence & Hanson Electrical Company’ went up on the shingle in Wynyard Street for the very first time.
Sonepar is an independent family-owned company with global market leadership in B-to-B distribution of electrical products, solutions and related services. Assisting customers in a wide range of markets and drawing on the skill and passion of its 44,500 associates, Sonepar has sales of €21.6 billion (as of December 31, 2017). Through a dense network of 167 operating companies spanning 44 countries and 5 continents, and the digital solutions developed, the Sonepar Group delivers greater service and enhanced customer relations every day. Sonepar’s ambition is to become “La Référence” – the standard-setter for all its stakeholders.
At L&H, we strongly believe Our People Make the Difference. We deliver great service by investing in our people. We offer a broad range of training programs from entry level up and have a dedicated training team and a network of training groups.
We respect all our relationships and create synergies that help us in leveraging our joint efficiencies. Our passion and enthusiasm towards seizing opportunities for mutual development and meeting challenges of the future signifies our commitment to deliver the best products and services for our customers.
BlueWay, our sustainable development initiative constantly helps us measure our performance and address environmental issues helping us develop responsible corporate behaviours that ensures a sustainable future for our communities.
Over 130 Years Experience
L&H is proud to have been servicing the needs of the Australian industry for over 130 years supplying to our customers across multiple sectors including commercial, mining, oil & gas, industrial, utilities and facility maintenance. We at L&H strive to be the wholesaler of choice for your business. We know the ins and outs of the market and understand the issues and challenges that your business faces on an every basis. Therefore, we believe in taking a proactive approach and offering solutions rather than just taking orders.
With over 130 years experience and a reputation built on trust and reliability, across our business with a single point of contact. We have a national network of over 150 branches providing locally sourced expert advice, technical & logistical support, eCommerce solutions including Webshop, ERP integration and App technologies.