McKenzie & Willis was formed in 1906 as a partnership between Joseph Willis and R. S. McKenzie and quickly evolved from a real estate agency that also auctioned and sold second hand furniture to a business that focused solely on the furnishings trade. Now, the McKenzie & Willis name is synonymous with stylish furniture and interiors of the highest quality with the expertise and service to match.
In 1914 the partnership between Joseph Willis and R. S. McKenzie was dissolved, however Joseph Willis made the decision to continue on under the original name. With our earliest years spent on the first floor of the Royal Exchange Building on the western side of Christchurch’s Cathedral Square, a forced move during 1928 saw McKenzie & Willis expand greatly to fill the four floors of the reconstructed Queens Theatre in Hereford Street presenting not only furniture but also flooring, home appliances, curtains and blinds.
During the early 1970’s it was clear that there was the potential for growth into other areas of the South Island with the first branch of McKenzie & Willis opening in Timaru during 1973. Since then we have also opened branches in Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka and Wellington giving us an extensive network of expertise and service throughout the South Island and lower North Island.
McKenzie & Willis purchased A. J. Whites, another local Christchurch furnishing retailer, and their building on the corner of Tuam and High Streets in 1980. The two businesses were eventually amalgamated and following a substantial refurbishment the doors were opened on what became the iconic McKenzie & Willis showroom.
The Christchurch Earthquake on February 22nd, 2011 damaged our building and showroom beyond repair however, efforts made soon after has meant that the historic façade of this building will be saved. Our Christchurch flagship store is now located at 181 Blenheim Road.
Looking forward, McKenzie & Willis recognises the ever changing dynamic of our customers and the home furnishings market. We are continuing to grow and improve our ‘in home’ services such as our flooring, curtain and blind in home consultations, measures and quotes as well as our interior design services to offer a personalised experience.
Today, we continue to build on our proud tradition of customer service and quality. We are continuously looking to improve on our retail environments to increase our range of products and services and allow customers greater access to a total home furnishing and décor experience.