After completing my compulsory military training in 1975, life focussed solely on surfing, sunshine and the good life. This would have continued on indefinitely if it were not for my girlfriend at the time, who after tolerating my wild ways for three months, decided surfing would not be my career and promptly ‘applied’ for a role of trainee manager at Clicks of my behalf. *(Robin Spengler interview, Dalmain Hack store visit, Adderley Street right on Friday lunch hour)
The St George’s Street branch* (Manager Cyril Chiert, Assistant Manager John Plaut) closed its doors that first Monday around 5.30pm. I was looking forward to getting out and an evening with friends. It had been a tiresome day and I was not sure I was cut out for the job. Much to my surprise I and a fellow recruit, were handed a mop and bucket each * (Carl Lang, Floor Supervisor) while the term ‘Monday night floor buff and polish’ reverberated in my disbelieving ears. What was worse was that the team usually assigned to this work were allowed to leave early. *(David Booysen, Floor Supervisor, Dennis Chen, Storeman and Tommy Hendricks, Receiving Supervisor)
As I mopped and buffed the shop floor for the next two hours I promised myself vehemently never to set foot back into Clicks and planned my surfing outing the next day as I swallowed my pride and completed this hideous task.
Well for some reason I did come back the next day and the rest, as they say ‘is history’!
Looking back today I feel immensely proud and privileged to have been part of the Clicks family in those early years. I often reflect on the debt of gratitude I feel to Jack Goldin and to his senior time through those early years. Ethel Goldin, June Kritzinger, Raymond Godfrey, Martin Susskind, David Danziger and Theo Solomon and so many others who all played a part in equipping me with the life experiences that have allowed me to ply my learning’s in overseas markets and across industries.
Jack was a brilliant yet simplistic retailer and human being. He set high expectations and he rewarded performance. The systems and processes he and his team established were simple and effective, many of which I still embrace as I work with retailers in today’s technology driven digital world.
I immigrated to Australia in 1998. Cutting ties with the Clicks Family, the business and relationships established over 23 years was the most difficult task I have ever undertaken. I was fortunate to re-establish my working relationship with Jack when I joined Priceline in the following year.
In a highly competitive retail market Jack established Priceline, the son (or daughter) of Clicks and the success story continued. Today I am fortunate to call many Priceliner’s, some expats like myself and others dinkum blue Aussies, my good friends. Once again Jack spread his simplistic, honest brilliance and brought a whole lot more people along for the ride.
Many have come after me and my compatriots both at Clicks & Priceline. They have added value and the businesses have grown beyond recognition. Well done to them. Hopefully, as the tribute to ‘Jack and Clicks in the early year’s’ story emerges, they too will take a moment to reflect on their good fortune to be a part of the journey.
Thank you Jack and thank you to all the great colleagues I had the distinct pleasure of winning with!
Geoff Dyer (23 Years of Service)