When I was a little girl, I would tag along to our Binondo office during summer vacation. Back then, there was no internet so it got boring at home. Co Ban Kiat Hardware was one of our neighbors. My aunt and I would walk past their building when we’d go out to get merienda. Fast forward to decades later… our family went into the audio visual business. We opened a showroom at Shangrila Mall. Our neighbor? Coby’s — you guessed it, it’s another incarnation of Co Ban Kiat Hardware.
This year, Co Ban Kiat Hardware Inc. celebrates its 100th year in the hardware industry. They’ve been around that long.
Founded in 1920, Co Ban Kiat Hardware Inc. started out in the heart of Binondo, in Manila’s own Chinatown. When World War 2 happened, the business was not spared from devastation. After the war, Co Ban Kiat Hardware resumed business in a makeshift shanty and begun helping people rebuild by providing hardware materials.
In 1952, CBK Hardware was incorporated. Business flourished and prospered under the leadership of Johnny Cobankiat. He introduced the retail concept for hardware products in the country. His accomplishments include Hardware Workshop, Coby’s Design Center, and the introduction of Ace Hardware USA in the Philippines — with CBK Hardware Inc. as one of its suppliers. Over the years, Co Ban Kiat Hardware has been consistently expanding its product portfolio. They’ve partnered with 68 trusted global brands of building materials, electrical, houseware, power equipment, outdoor, plumbing… almost every conceivable product type for building, construction, and home comfort. Their brands include Stanley, Lincoln Electric, Baldwin, Westinghouse, Yale Locks, and more.
The company’s desire to give Filipinos access to quality products came into fruition with their market presence, supplying to over 2000 partner wholesale and retail stores nationwide. This lineup includes DIY stores, traditional hardware stores, depots, etc. Co Ban Kiat Hardwars is also the first hardware distributor to aggressively offer products online through several e-commerce platforms and social media accounts.
Building and construction are not the only ways CBK is helping the world become a better place. They support multiple advocacies, philanthropic endeavors, and charity work. Hundreds if not thousands of people from all walks of life have benefited from their initiatives. As part of its 100 years celebration, CBK be launching the 100 Years Donation Drive, a 10-month long CSR project that aims to help 100 organizations.
As the company enters a new century, there will be even more local and global brands to acquire and form partnerships with, more ways to help out and give back to the community, more homes and buildings to improve. CBK will remain true to its heritage of providing more years of world class hardware solutions for Filipinos.
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