Decades of Dedication: Peter Johns

Blackwoods, owned by Wesfarmers, has been serving Australians for 145 years across 50 branches. Peter Johns has managed operations at the local Blackwoods branch for the last 26 years.

Australia’s largest supplier of safety and industrial products, Blackwoods “ensures customer work sites all over the country are supported as well as (the) general public (through)… the branch network and supply chain,” noted Mr Johns.

A local through and through, he is married and has “two sons and two beautiful granddaughters, along with a close-knit family.” He also maintains a close affiliation with the South Football Club as a volunteer, coach, and player.

Mr Johns was previously employed at the Pasminco Mine as a Boilermaker before becoming redundant due to the 1993 layoff. He recalled that it “was tough with a young family.”
He then joined Mining Supplies as a sales representative, noting that at the time, he was “having to learn as I went.”

The local opening of Blackwoods in 1997 led to the absorption of Mining Supplies. Mr Johns was initially offered a position as an Accounting Manager but was promoted to Branch Manager just six months later.

When asked what sets Blackwoods apart, Mr Johns explained that the shop “consists of a Trade Shopfront and Warehouse situated in the old Treloar and Sons building on Argent Street and employs six local staff.”

He further added that all his staff have “good product knowledge and understanding of local requirements, (and they are) backed by a national company with an unsurpassed product range and supply chain in the industrial market.”

Describing his business as “basically a one-stop shop for industrial and mining customers,” he highlighted that the Blackwoods catalogue is “renowned for being the bible of the industrial supply sector with over 70,000 items listed.”

Impressively, the catalogue is almost 70mm thick as a hard copy, but thankfully, it is also available electronically via their website,

With more than 26 years of business management under his belt, he noted that his greatest challenge is “maintaining and finding new business’ in the Broken Hill industrial market.”

Nevertheless, he confirmed that the benefits of being in business is “leading a great team, and the relationships built over the years with many customers.”

Over the years, Mr Johns has witnessed unprecedented changes in how businesses operate, and chief among those changes has been the transition to new electronic systems and methods of communicating.

However, he cautioned that “what hasn’t changed though is being a reliable, ethical business, while trying to deliver best results for customers, (as well as) … having great staff working together as a team.”

Blackwoods are open from Monday to Friday 8am-5pm at 105 Argent Street, they can be contacted on 08 8084 3400.

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