OAM for bulky goods veteran

Ian Robinson now and in 1975 when he took over the first Beacon store.

Ian Robinson – who from 1975 grew a Beacon Lighting outlet in Prahran to a national network with over 125 stores – has been awarded an Order of Australia.

Beacon’s first outlet, opened in 1967 at 302 Chapel Street, is nowadays a bar.

The accolade comes four years since the Melbourne businessman, executive chairman with the group since 1969 – was awarded a Lighting Council of Australia Lifestyle Achievement Award.

The retailer was also one of five members to establish the Large Format Retail Association, formerly the Bulky Goods Retail Association, 25 years ago.

In 2014, Mr Robinson, and silent partner Martin Hanman, floated Beacon, retaining an interest.

“I speak on behalf of the whole LFRA when I congratulate Ian Robinson on being recognised with an OAM for his contribution to the retail sector for over 50 years, in particular in lighting and the LFR industry,” president Zac Fried said on Friday.

“Ian has always been pivotal to the association, facilitating industry networking and whole of industry advocacy,” he added.

“His almost 25 years of service to the association has been entirely voluntary, often coming at the expense of his own business,” according to Mr Fried, also executive chair of Spotlight Group Holdings and a HMC Capital non-executive director (story continues below).

Beacon bought its Modbury store from the landlord in 2021.

“Ian’s role in the LFR sector paved the way for other retailers who have benefited from the association’s activities including knowledge sharing, networking, training and industry wide advocacy.

“The sector now occupies 35 per cent of all retail floor space, employs around 500,000 (full time) people and accounts for more than 25pc of all retail sales in Australia”.

Mr Robinson held the LFRA president role for 14 years until 2016 after which he was awarded the Warwick Shedden Memorial Trophy for his contribution to the sector.

Beacon Lighting Group employs over 1100 staff.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.