“BUT…he told me… we shall grow, don’t worry”

Tribute to Jack Goldin

I met Jack Goldin when he went into partnership with Norman Herber of Greatermans and started the first store.

In those days, Greatermans had an office in London, trading as Prudential Shippers, acting as a confirming house for South African customers.

As I was Greatermans’ agent in Italy, and as Jack Goldin thought that this country could be a potential supplier for his store/stores, he came to Florence to meet up with me to discuss the market place.

I still remember that we had a three hours dinner at the Otello restaurant, him his wife Ethel and myself, not eating a lot but talking most of the time about products, quantity and prices.

Jack was concerned about the minimums as he had only one store and he could only buy so much…BUT…he told me… we shall grow, don’t worry.

In those days I was doing business with USA discounters, and I did like Jack Goldin’s approach to the various subjects, so I decided to start this new venture and started visiting factories the next day. I had to convince the manufacturers to accept our small orders, and this was not an easy job . In some instances, factories had minimums to put the goods in production, and in those days vendors were flooded with orders and were in a position to refuse orders.

This was the first step of a long journey with Jack Goldin. I do not have to tell you that Clicks became one of the top customers for many Italian suppliers, like the glassware factories Co.Vetro, Borgonovo, Fidenza Vetraria to name but a few.

All the suppliers liked Jack Goldin, not because of the business they were getting from Clicks but they found him very honest and fair. In fact, he was never building up stories to get special discounts, he was asking the suppliers to help him to make their products more competitive on the market…so he could buy more and bigger quantities.

Jack Goldin was not negotiating a discount for each item, but he was firm in getting his price in case he wanted to run a promotion. In this case, it was interesting to see that the manufacturer’s final reaction was very friendly and in a few words, like…. “OK Jack, that is fine, but only for this time.”

Obviously, the next time we had an exact replica, as Clicks loved promotions.

 Gianfranco Guidotti (Buying Office Florence, Italy)

 

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About Matteo Coné

Matteo joined the Clicks Brand in 1974 as a Trainee Manager and spent the first nine years of his career in operational management roles within stores. In 1983 he was promoted to the role of Buyer and joined the Merchandise Division. During the following twenty seven years, he applied his extensive buying expertise to various categories and assisted the business in growing from a small retailer to the national household name that it is today. Matteo has not only gained the respect of his many colleagues through the years, but also with the many suppliers that he has dealt with.
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