Allan Hirsch

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Allan Hirsch, the founder and CEO of Hirsch's is an outstanding example of someone who came from humble beginnings and had to overcome personal challenges to become successful. He well illustrates that "where you begin does not determine where you can go".
Significantly, Hirsch's celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019. The business is the biggest privately-owned appliance dealer in southern Africa and comprises a chain of mega appliance and home furnishing stores.
Allan left school in standard seven due to dyslexia and trained as an electrical appliances' mechanic. Afterwards, he started working for a company, where he and the owner had different views on business. The owner wanted to keep increasing margins, while Allan wanted reasonable rates and to provide great service to keep their customers' happy.

His employer's suggestion that Allan should go on his own was both exciting and daunting for him. Being newly married, having bought his first property, and the birth of his first child, delayed his decision, but he eventually opened an electrical appliance repair store in Durban North in 1979. He recalls being "absolutely flat broke" the day Hirsch's Electrical Repairs opened, having spent all his money on rent, the electricity deposit, and marketing. He says it was enormously symbolic being able to buy a loaf of bread costing 11 cents on his way home.
Initially, Allan only repaired goods, but his reputation and knowledge led to him to becoming a formal dealer as well. He recalls working long hours when others took weekends off. With the help of Margaret, his wife and partner, and the use of innovative marketing, a big demand was created for Hirsh's products.
In KZN in 2000, Hirsh's started their Home Store concept, where almost everything for the home can be purchased under one roof. This proved to be a great success and two years later, in 2002, they took the concept to Gauteng. In April 2012, Hirsh's opened their first branch in Cape Town (Milnerton). They also have a strong online presence with customers from around South Africa shopping from Hirsch's online site.

Hirsch's is a family run business with all four members of the Hirsch family involved in day to day operations. The Hirsch's form a formidable force supported by their management team who have a strong commitment to the same goals. They are backed by 850 permanent employees who are as dedicated to the company as the Hirsch's and their management team are.

The Hirsch family does not take anything for granted and are regularly involved in various charities and sponsorships. Their giving nature ensures that they constantly support the less fortunate and they are always willing to help those in need and find many ways of giving back to the communities in which they operate.
Trust must be earned and Allan still tries to enhance the good reputation Hirsch's has built over 40 years. "Winners always keep going. You need to keep your vision and keep on working hard when things go wrong," he says.

Commenting on their milestone birthday on 29 January 2019, Allan said:
"Ï can't believe that 40 years has passed since we started Hirsch's. The growth that we have had over the years and the people who have assisted us, and the support that we have had from the public for the last forty years has been phenomenal. It's true to say that working hard and getting the basics right on a daily basis pays. That is what we've done. We have had amazing people that have worked with us over the years, and we owe a lot to them."

"I feel proud of what we have achieved, and I believe that there are more opportunities on their way - not only for us, but for South Africa. By looking after people, we have found that they have looked after us. When people ask me what the key to success is, I say that it is a combination of getting everything in the right order at the right time. When one consistently gets the basics done, one will become successful.
This being our 40th year, we have numerous specials. We have had great support from our suppliers who are helping us to enjoy our 40th year in business and we are passing these on to the consumer - who has kept us in business for the past 40 years. Thank you, we appreciate you, and we are so grateful that you have kept us going for all this time."


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