FrontLine has a complex and extensive history across different facets of retail, but the one constant has been the unwavering focus on its members

In the Beginning

The foundations for the current FrontLine were established in 1931 when four Victorian retailers formed a cooperative known as Newtorian Merchants Pty. Ltd. to achieve better terms with their supplier base.


1931 – 1961

The membership grew from the four inaugural stores to 27 stores, mostly department stores and predominantly from Victoria. A main focus of the group at this time was on the coordination of promotional buying & catalogues.



Newtorian Merchants expanded its membership into other states.


January – 1985

The newly formed company, Frontline Stores Australia Ltd. began operation.


1985 – Today

FrontLine continues its member focus, and today boasts over 700 independent retail members, who operate across diverse categories, from traditional mens & ladieswear, through to outdoors, sports & home living. FrontLine’s focus remains on strengthening the relationship between Australian suppliers and the small to medium independent retailers that are the back bone of the Australian economy. As such, our array of services now includes licensed brands, independent retail trade shows, group buying opportunities and online retail and wholesale websites.

Other major milestones:


The SPORTFIRST Licensed brand for sport was launched.


The blue sky brand licensed brand was created to support the outdoor, camping and fishing category.


The holySheet! brand was bought as a franchise and continued to be managed by FrontLine after being re-modeled into a licensed agreement.


Frontline delivers its first online retail website template to Sleep Doctor in Campbelltown.


FrontLine Australian Buying Event (FABE) was created as a genuine industry trade show.


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