Seal of approval

Selleys is expanding its reach into the professional construction market while embracing sustainability and supporting local Australian production.

By Frank Leggett 

While Selleys has been the market leader in the home handyman market for the past 75 years, it’s also moving in a new direction. It’s expanded into the professional construction market thanks to the acquisition of another Australian company.

Two years ago, Selleys acquired Admil, a manufacturer and supplier of high-quality silicone sealant and adhesives for use in many industries and markets. Their range of products is specifically designed for use on construction sites, residential builds and all manner of professional projects. The merger is a perfect fit. While Selleys is targeted at the home handyman market, Admil is designed for professional use. Of course, there is also overlap between the two.

“For residential building, there are multiple situations where Selleys or Admil would be suitable,” says John Shelton, Selleys national sales manager. “In that trade space, Selleys is a clear market leader with products such as Liquid Nails, but there are other areas such as glazing and multi residential elements where Admil is a far stronger brand.”

HOME GROWN

Admil founder Adrian Brocken started the company 22 years ago. He aimed at creating products for the professional market that were manufactured locally.

“I had seen so much manufacturing moved off shore that I was determined to keep jobs in Australia,” says Brocken. “Admil was completely based in Melbourne and did very well. We grew from nothing to turning over around $30 million. Since the acquisition, our plan is for Admil to be as popular in the professional space as Selleys is in the DIY area. The two companies working together are going to be a lot more than the sum of their parts.”

A big advantage of the merger is that Admil has a substantial facility in the Melbourne suburb of Mulgrave. Selleys/Admil are able to utilise the factory to produce and package products in Australia while also having access to two R&D departments to research and test more products. It’s a win for both companies and a win for Australia.

BRAND RECOGNITION

Selleys products are used extensively throughout Australia, and it exports to world markets in New Zealand, South-East Asia, and Europe. With well-known brands such as No More Gaps, Liquid Nails and Spakfi lla, it’s the trusted ‘goto’ brand for DIYers all across Australia.

When Martin Selley founded the company in 1939, he sold broadly to a variety of glazing, metal and aluminium companies. In the following decades, the rapid expansion of the company saw it dominate the DIY market but now, with the new Admil range, Selleys is returning to its roots.

“Selleys is such a popular brand due to its understanding of the consumer,” says Shelton. It’s that deep understanding of the market and the quality of Selleys products that has seen high-brand recognition and satisfaction from consumers.

“We live by our slogan, ‘If it’s Selleys, it works’,” he says. “We employ rigorous quality control protocols to maintain our integrity and reliability. This has led to market research revealing that 98 per cent of consumers can recall the Selleys brand.”

FILLING A GAP

The Selleys story begins at the start of World War II when Martin Selley fled Germany. He arrived in Australia with his wife, son, 100 pounds and a patented formula for putty. At that time, there was a shortage of aluminium to make kitchen utensils so Selley stepped in to fi ll a hole in the market.

Setting up his factory in a rented terrace in Sydney’s Surry Hills, he created a metallic cement for mending pots and pans, and a heat-resistant putty for stoves. Selleys Metallic Cement and Selleys Unfix were produced entirely in Australia and were instantly popular with consumers.

The company expanded rapidly, manufacturing products for all home handyman categories. Today, Selleys is a major supplier of high-quality products for DIYers everywhere.

QUALITY CONTROL

Selleys doesn’t just import products from overseas, repackage them and sell it to local consumers. All its products are tested or developed in Australia for Australian conditions. The high quality of Selleys products is largely due to its research and development centres.

“Australia’s UV conditions are some of the harshest in the world and that attacks poor quality products,” says Shelton. “While there are cheaper alternatives to Selleys products from overseas, we fi nd they often fall apart within 18 months.”

KEEP IT SUSTAINABLE

Selleys and Admil both embrace sustainability, currently developing greener products that use no solvents.

“Products such as Selleys Fireblock XT and Admil’s Supaseal are safer than the current polyurethane alternatives,” says Brocken. “They’re manufactured for the local environment and have substantially better UV resistance so they last much longer.”

Over the next five years, the Selleys Admil story will focus on growth. The company will use Australia as its manufacturing place of excellence. Its range of products will be launched even further into the global market.

“We’re envisioning a substantially larger company headquarters in Australia,” says Shelton. “And we’ll be supplying the world.”