In 1980, TIW (now TIR) began a co-venture partnership with Roelf Vos, another independent wholesaler, to form Statewide Independent Wholesalers (SIW), which was responsible for a major proportion of the warehousing of grocery dry-goods held for retail distribution in Tasmania.
With the normal competition found among retailers in Tasmania, it was a bold move to bring the two groups together, however, once the benefits of the joint venture were recognised, tremendous growth was achieved.
Woolworths Limited purchased Roelf Vos Holdings in February 1982. The financial arrangement and ownership was based on 60 per cent Woolworths – 40 per cent TIW, relating very closely to the volume of wholesale business carried out by the joint owners.
In the early 1990s SIW’s membership grew with the inclusion of southern members who were previously serviced by other wholesalers. This increased its store keepers to around 250 and meant SIW truly lived up to its name.
Currently, the 60–40 per cent ownership is represented on the Board of Directors with three Directors nominated by Woolworths and two by Tasmanian Independent Retailers Co-operative Society (formerly TIW); albeit the Board constitution is such that no one entity has a controlling vote.
In December 1998, the Breadalbane Frozen and Chilled Distribution Centre opened and was fully operational in February 1999, giving SIW the capacity to provide improved service to its customers.
SIW expanded and moved to the Tasmania Regional Distribution Centre (TRDC) in February 2012. The completion of the TRDC resulted in the closure of two Woolworths DCs and SIW’s Prospect DC, amalgamating them into the one location.
In May 2012 Statewide Independent Wholesalers (SIW) and TIR officially launched a new $8O million Tasmania Regional Distribution Centre south of Launceston with a VIP ceremony, including guest of honour the Premier of Tasmania Lara Giddings.
The new centre brings cutting edge logistics technology to Tasmania, delivering fresher, faster groceries throughout Tasmania to its diverse customer base across the State.
With 300 employees, 110 truck movements a day, and 410,000 cartons picked per week, the centre houses more than $40 million of stock at any one time, from around 900 suppliers. It utilises best practice systems such as voice pick technology and radio frequency receiving and dispatch.
On 4th October 2018, SIW announced the start of construction of phase two of the TRDC. The new development will replace the existing temperature controlled facility in Richard Street at Breadalbane, (Frozen Chilled) and bring the TRDC development investment to a total of $120M.