“I called and got an interview and the job”

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I was employed by Jack in July 1968 as the only buyer. I was working for Garlicks at the time as their toiletries buyer and assisting with the cosmetic dep. Theo Salomon was the rep for Old Spice and used to call on me and told me all about Jack Goldin starting up a new chain and that he was looking for a buyer with experience in toiletries and cosmetics so I called and got an interview and the job. As it was getting close to the opening of St Georges St I used to go buying with Jack after hours when I’d finished working at Garlicks whilst I was working out my notice. We rented offices at first from Sonnenbergs in Shortmarket St but it wasn’t long before we moved to our own premises with a warehouse in Dorp St. As we expanded and opened more stores we took on more buyers.

Jack was always very supportive to me and enabled me over the years to gain experience in all fields of the business as I ran the buying department and the advertising and then the new store development and was always involved with the accounts department in various ways as ensuring we were charged what we had negotiated was always so important. I always found the new store development part of the business very exciting and demanding and I was very involved with the negotiations and checking of the leases etc. I was always part of the executive management team so involved with the financial aspects for the duration of my tenure but as had a financial director after several years I was more on the periphery of that aspect.

As I hadn’t had any sort of formal training Jack felt I should get some experience of that and we agreed that I would go on the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School before I was made Managing Director. I was at that time Deputy MD. I was quite used to running the company by that stage as Jack travelled a lot and was usually away for several months of every year.

Although I often had fights with Jack and many arguments we always respected each other and he was always supportive to me. He was my mentor and I always admired his business acumen and feel for what the customer wanted. I always agreed with him very strongly that we had to be better and cheaper than the supermarkets as they really didn’t need us and I feel that’s why Clicks was so successful. Those first 20 years were very exciting and challenging and some of the best times of my life.

I was happy with most of the people who I worked with as I felt they were a very hard-working and dedicated team whom I could rely on and that was very important. Sometimes we employed people who didn’t have that work ethic and they didn’t last long. I still keep in touch with several of those I worked with 25 years later.

I was devastated when I had to resign to move to the States with my husband but felt I had no alternative so I had to make a very difficult decision. I kept in close touch with Jack and he and Ethel came and visited me in the US and I met up with Jack in London a couple of times. I was absolutely desolate when he died especially as I had lost my husband less than a year earlier. I still keep in touch with Ethel and look forward to seeing her again when I am next in Melbourne.

June Green (20 Years of Service)

 

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About mc1a

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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