The company has really changed a lot over time. The most noteworthy change that I have seen is its transition from an extremely autocratic environment to being a place that is all about communication.
Back in the day, if you were fired, it was done on the spot. The attitude was, take your bags and get out. Today management is far more understanding and go out of their way to make sure that we are not only happy but that the lines of communication are always open. I like to think of Clicks as one big, happy family.
Over the years there have been numerous highlights but the one that stands out was the launch of the Club Card. It was so exciting. Everything was hush-hush, and we had to keep everything to do with the launch a huge secret. Even when there were teasers in the newspaper, we could not explain anything to anyone. It was made even more exciting because we were the first to introduce a Club Card into the retail industry and we now have over 2.5 million active Club Card members.
In those early days there were only about five stores which meant that the Christmas party was for everyone. Initially they were held at Head Office but when we started growing, they were upgraded to fancy hotels.
My first interview consisted of interviewers asking what my name was, how old I was and when I could start.
In the beginning we actually wore a uniform which included a really short min-skirt. I obviously had to complement this by wearing a huge beehive hairdo with wedge shoes to work.
When I first started as a radio consultant, my salary was R100 per month which was enough to pay my board, food and travel for the month. Honestly I had no intention of staying, it was just a way of making some money while I was young. Now 40 years later I am still here.
I have been a part of opening 50 stores and revamping at least 150. After all these years, I can still talk about Clicks with pride and passion because Clicks is a really good place to work.
Charmaine Stein (40 Years Service)
Source: 40 years of Clicks 1968 – 2008 Magazine page 59