Jack was a man of his word

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I remember Jack very well as he was very good friends with my grandparents. My grand-father was his family doctor and cared for the family for many years and through them I got the job at Clicks.

Jack was a very dignified, honourable and always a man of his word. I remember when I was transferred to Worcester as Store Manager and given ONE day to make up my mind. I went to see Jack and he assured me that I would return to Cape Town after a year. His word was his bond.

My special treat was on a Wednesdays when my Regional Manager, Peter Adams, would visit the store and taped Dynasty on Monday nights and Dallas on Tuesday nights. This was a weekly occurrence and in return I had to buy him lunch at the Spur Steak Ranch.

After a year my gran enquired when I would be returning to Cape Town and true enough within a short while I was back in town.

In my first year over the Christmas season I was working in Claremont, a very busy store, and my job was to make sure the Sweet Section was kept full, neat and tidy at all times. My responsibilities also included the cut case displays of chocolate boxes. That kept me very busy as there were three floors in the store to get the stock from the store room. In those days we worked very hard and I was looking forward to my first Christmas bonus which was R10.50 less R1.50 tax.

 

Anton Lazard (15 Years of Service)

 

 

Just so many good memories

Tribute To Jack Goldin

I’ve been with Clicks now for 33 years going on 34. I started in 1978 at eighteen and interviewed by Jerome Lewin at the old Head Office in Salt River.

Having been in Matric the previous year and dropping out of Teacher’s College I thought I had an advantage to start in a better position than a packer but this did not happen and after my first Christmas at the Wynberg Store I thought ‘not another year for me at Clicks’ that’s how busy it was; but retail kinda grows on you and the interacting with different customers made it more fun. Helping and working with different people became my passion.

Some of my highlights at Clicks

I remember on a Monday morning Head Office would phone with a list of products of which we had to check prices, to compare it with the other retailers in the area so we could keep our prices lower than theirs, because our logo was “YOU PAY LESS AT CLICKS”. I would then take down the items over the phone and armed with my list I would walk down the main road to OK BAZAARS; GRAND BAZAARS; PICK’N PAY and CHECKERS and be back by tea time, phone Head Office and give them the prices.

A ‘Mr Goldin’ visit was always stressful for Regional Managers, Managers and staff. They would fall over their feet to make sure the Stores looked presentable.

I also remember the 10.0.6 product we introduced in South Africa and then I participated in the 10.0.6 fun run.They gave me such a big T-shirt that I had to knot it on my shoulders not for it to hang like an old rag on me.

We also had this ‘LOOK NICE, FEEL NICE, and BE NICE ‘where we were all given some make up to look nice every day.

The counting of supplier cards and working out of sales (manually) also bring back good memories. The stores were never over stocked. Also the counting of Warehouse catalogues and filling up your own section Gifts and Glassware were Mr Goldin’s baby – also brings back good memories; it was always be full and neat.

 

I also remember the LAUNCH of the Club Card; it was a very big occasion for us.

When Clicks went live with their own Website and what a wonderful surprise; a customer came into the store; I was at Clicks Meadowridge at that time – ‘Famous Hey?” she said and told me they used my picture (As Service Advisors we used to have our pictures hanging next to that of the Store Manager) on the cover of the Web page.

Just so many good memories and it will take me forever to put the all down.

 

 Florence Nabby (34 years Service)

 

 

I have great memories of working at Clicks

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My career at Clicks spanned close to four decades when I started as a Trainee Manager way back in 1974, we had then 18 stores in total !

I have great memories of working at Clicks and would like to share them  with you.

At the opening of the old Wynberg store my duties were to cut-case and price mark opening specials at the “stamping bay”. Lux soap was one of the specials and I price marked every bar of soap. The stock sold out so fast that only after a couple of hours I managed to keep abreast of sales. I certainly learned how to mark and cut-case!

 

Once Martin Susskind asked me to buy an Earthen stacking coffee mug from one of our competitors and have it dropped off at Head Office for his attention. He called the next day and said to me “Mr. Goldin is waiting for the coffee mug”. I immediately went to buy one and delivered it then and there. Our Price-Beat policy and slogan against other retailers is “You pay less at Clicks” and such was Mr. Goldin’s determination and be the cheapest. This was my welcome to the real world of discounting and knowing what our competitors were doing.

 

When I was appointed as a Buyer in 1983 the process was rather quite simple; Mr. Goldin called me to his office, congratulated me. He said, “The three most important tasks of a good Buyer are 1) ask 2) ask and 3) ask”. He explained what he meant, the Buyer’s job was to ask and get the best deals, prices, trading terms, advertising allowance, store opening specials, price increase extensions and so on and on. Mr Goldin then said to me “If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get.”

 

At a Buyer’s meeting Mr. Goldin requested that the following minutes be taken down about supplier meetings (a) Be punctual for appointments (b) Be friendly, but not too friendly (c) Never talk politics, religion or unions (d) Don’t show how clever you are – be a “poker player”   (e) Keep deals simple. These simple lessons were like pearls of wisdom.

 

Clicks was the sole distributor of Maxine’s* Cosmetics in South Africa and after a fall-out with the supplier our relationship soured severely. Mr. Goldin, to teach them a lesson, decided to mark down the entire Maxine’s range to R1.00 each. The stock sold out within a few days. He was an entrepreneur in every sense of the word, radical at times, but certainly a great risk-taker.

 

Mr. Goldin had an enduring fixation for certain “things” such as always being in stock of globes. He knew that every household used globes! He came up with an idea of having alternate suppliers for the globe ranges. If one supplier was out of stock, then you could order it from the alternate supplier and make sure that you were always in stock. Heaven forbid if now you were out of stock of globes. Mr. Goldin possessed great ingenuity and was much ahead of his time.

 

Another one of Mr. Goldin’s favourites that almost became an obsession. Clicks was the only retailer to stock Tabac men’s fragrances other than pharmacies and department stores. Mr. Goldin visited fairly often our Claremont Store and the first thing he did was to check whether the Tabac range was in-stock. Managers usually knew of his impromptu visits. It was common practice among store managers to alert each other of his visits and whereabouts. Inter-branches were speedily done and stock obtained from nearby stores. This ensured that every line was in stock before his arrival.

 

At Christmas time Head Office allocated a senior staff to each store to help during the Festive Season. The late Peter Watts, of blessed memory, was allocated to my store. On this particular day we had worked hard and decided to have a quick bite. Three Anchor Bay, with a predominantly Jewish clientele, was not particularly busy over the Christmas period and lunchtime was not as hectic as in many of the other stores. Whilst we were eating, drinking and talking the office door opened unexpectedly . There stood Mr. Goldin staring at both of us. He had caught us red-handed eating, talking over lunchtime during Christmas and in the office. He said to us “by all means you are both entitled to take a lunch break, but there must always be a Senior Staff member on the floor “. His systems were simple, logical and down-to-earth!

 

I have worked with truly outstanding, inspiring and talented people both inside and outside the organisation. Clicks is characterised by rapid and continuous change and at times it has been an emotional roller coaster. It is the good times at Clicks that will live eternally in my memory.

Clicks has been like a family and a home to me and the thought of working for any other company has never crossed my mind. As much as I would like to single out specific individuals, the list would be endless and possibly put you to sleep. Your names and memories will always stay engraved in my heart.  I sincerely appreciate the friendship, trust and support extended during my service at Clicks. It has been an honour and privilege to work with every one of you.

 

Matteo Coné with Clicks from 1974 to 2010

*Fictitious name

 

Clicks Wall Of Remembrance: “Aunty” Florence Maingard

Clicks Remembrance Wall: Florence "Aunty" Maingard
“Aunty” Florence Maingard

When Aunty Florence Maingard came to Head Office from the branches as Advertising Manageress she found life too quiet.

“I Miss the customers”, she told Mr Goldin.

“That’s no problem, we’ll give you the customer enquiry phone” replied the Boss.

Aunty started with the company since the first Clicks Store opened, coming through the ranks from Office Supervisor to Advertising Manageress.

Courtesy: Clicks News July 1975

Auntie Mainguard
Remember Auntie Mainguard? She was my first Office Supervisor in Claremont. I remember her very well to this day. A lot of people used to tease her because she was a serious person, but she was a good sport as well and took the teasing in good spirit.
We remember her, among other things, because she used to drive around in this little Mini Cooper.

I think the funniest joke we played on her, was parking the Mini inside the shop. Definitely not a career advancing joke, but then we thought it was hilarious.

I must explain that at that time Claremont had a large entrance and there was a lot of space between the doors and a row of cashiers.

So one day, we had this brilliant idea of driving her car and parking it inside the entrance. Auntie Mainguard finishes cashing up, closes the office and walks to the back to the parking area to drive home.

After a few minutes she comes rushing in, white in the face and says: “Mr Gargan, I can’t find my car. I think it’s been stolen!”. We pretended to be very concerned and went outside to help look for the car. Eventually, when she was becoming a bit too distressed we brought back inside again, took her to the front and there, much to the relief, was her car parked. We don’t know whether she ever reported this higher up the line because Harry and I and the rest of the staff never got called up to Jack Goldin’s office. (I would not be writing this today! We would have been fired on the spot!).

This says something about Auntie M’s character. She was a good teacher and a good sport. We eventually developed a good friendship to the extent that I use to take her to visit her son in George when I went there. Bless her heart, she always used to bring these wonderful picnic baskets with her to enjoy on the trip. Oh, she also used to make this incredible grape jam, with no pips as she used to remove all the pips grape by grape. Great woman.

Roberto Battistuzzi (20 Years Service)

 

A fellow Clicker once wrote in the Clicks News January 1975:

“AUNNTIE’S FOUND HER NITCH

For many a year there’s been on the staff,

A lady known by all, for sharing a laugh.

From branch to branch she often went.

For many an opening she was lent.

She once worked at Claremont, for all of her day.

Now she’s at H/O sending adverts away.

So at last her roaming days are over

for she has her own office, and is in a clover.

To most she is “Aunty”, to some she is “Mrs”

But from all of us we send her our wishes.”

 

 

 

Clicks Wall Of Remembrance: Ester Wides

The Clicks Wall Of Remembrance
Ester Wides

Mrs Esther Wides, a member of the Board of Clicks, was one of the three Greatermans nominees among the six Directors – three each from Clicks and Greatemans.

Mrs Wides held a B.Com. degree and was the first woman in South Africa to pass with distinctions.

She was the most senior woman executive of the Greatermans Group and was promoted to Assistant Vice-President. She took an active part in the working of the Clicks Board and Mr Goldin had long discussions with her, drawing on her considerable experience in retail accountancy.

Source: Clicks News July 1975

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