It takes courage, vision and a lot of hard work to start a business from scratch and that is exactly what the two founders of Fantastic Furniture, Paul Harding and Jonathan De Jong had in abundance. The business started in 1989 selling plastic garden furniture at a stall at Sydney's Parklea Markets. The first Fantastic Furniture store was opened at Birkenhead Point, NSW in 1991.
In 1992, the Fantastic Lounge Factory was opened and commenced production of quality value for money lounges for the Fantastic Furniture stores. The Fantastic Metal Factory was opened in 1995 and began producing sturdy metal furniture at competitive prices. As a result of successful advertising and innovative product development, the Fantastic Furniture business grew rapidly over this time. Unfortunately the growth was so rapid that the organisation's structure and systems were unable to keep up and in early 1996 the business went into Administration. The business was subsequently acquired by Peter Brennan, Peter Draper and Julian Tertini. The latter part of 1996 was a period of restructure and consolidation with the aim of building a solid foundation to support the eventual expansion of the Fantastic Furniture brand concept - Australia's best value furniture. Over the next few years, the Company embarked on a sustainable growth plan, opening a number of new stores across NSW as well as establishing a separate import and distribution division.
1999 was a landmark year for both Fantastic Furniture and FHL, with Fantastic Furniture distributing its first retail catalogue to over 1 million households and in September of that year, Fantastic Holdings Limited listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
FHL launched Plush in 2000, a sofa specialist retail brand, offering high quality stylish sofas at every day affordable prices. 2000 also saw the expansion of Fantastic Furniture into Victoria. Following this milestone event, both the Fantastic Furniture and Plush retail brands continued to grow with new stores opening throughout Australia.
2006 saw FHL launch another new retail chain, Original Mattress Factory (OMF), a mattress specialist offering customers factory direct prices on a large range of mattresses. The same year saw FHL expand its manufacturing capabilities by acquiring Royal Comfort Bedding, a NSW mattress manufacturer. This acquisition enabled Fantastic Furniture's entire mattress range to be produced in Australia. At this time, FHL had over 60 Fantastic Furniture stores across NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and TAS and 19 Plush stores in VIC, NSW, QLD and SA.
Dare Gallery, a retail chain offering a range of fashionable and affordable home furnishings and LeCornu, an iconic South Australian furniture retailer were acquired in 2008. FHL also continued with its store expansion program across the established Fantastic Furniture, Plush and OMF brands and with the opening of a number of Fantastic Furniture stores in Western Australia during 2008, FHL is now a genuine national furniture retailer. Combined with its manufacturing and distribution capabilities, FHL is Australia's largest vertically integrated furniture company. The Dare Gallery brand was sold in 2015.
Since 2012 Fantastic Manufacturing (FM) has supplied Fantastic Furniture, RCB and FLF with high quality, value for money furniture and components. FM currently employs over 70 people and can produce more than 200,000 units per year in its 10,600 m2 purpose built factory in Vietnam and capacity to dispatch over 100 containers per month. FM places a focus on sustainability and the reduction of waste when manufacturing products.