On Friday I mentioned one of Australia’s major department stores, David Jones, when talking about The Welsh in Australia. That got me thinking about shopping in Australia and led me to a major realisation. In all the time we have known each other, we’ve never been shopping together.
So today I have decided to put that right. No need to grab your hat and coat, this is Queensland remember, you just need a T-shirt and shorts. Come on, we’re going to the…
Just like in the UK and probably most countries, Australia has a set of retailers that seem to be present in almost every major shopping centre in every big city. Today we are going to visit 10 of the most popular.
I’m not saying these shops are THE most popular, but they will be high on the list for sure. So, let’s get stuck in, we’ve got a lot of shopping to do. Let’s start with…
Also mentioned briefly in last Friday’s post, Myer is David Jones’ biggest competitor; it is an upmarket department store along the lines of Debenhams.
I don’t think we really have stores like Kmart in the UK; it’s not a supermarket, it’s not really a department store, not as we know them. But Kmart sells lots of stuff. Clothes, men’s, women’s and children’s. Electrical goods. Toys. Stationary. Pharmaceuticals. Kitchen appliances. Bicycles. Garden equipment. Camping equipment. Car accessories.
And so much more.
Those who come here from the USA will be well accustomed to Kmart.
Harvey Norman appears to have big stores and “superstores”. You can buy computers, TVs, all kinds of electrical goods including white goods, furniture and bedding. Depending how big the store is that you are at, or whether it’s a superstore, there might be more stuff available to buy like garden furniture and gardening equipment.
What is unusual here is that Harvey Norman operates as a franchise and often each separate department within the store is run by a different franchisee. So someone may run the furniture franchise within the store and somebody else a computer and electrical franchise.
Sounds complicated but as a shopper you have no idea this is happening.
I couldn’t tell you if Terry White is the biggest chemists in Australia, but it’s certainly the one I seem to see the most in the major shopping centres. As far as pharmacy goes, they are pretty good, but I wouldn’t compare them with Boots in the UK who sell a much wider range of products than Terry White.
The name of this store says it all, they sell everything you could possibly need for your office and I mean everything. Maybe not toilet rolls, but don’t quote me on that. So if you want stationary, this is the place, unless…
Unless you are like my wife and daughter who like their stationery items to coordinate with each other. If you are the kind of person that likes your pencil case to match your pencil sharpener and your eraser to compliment them both, AND it all has to be in a certain shade of pink, then Smiggle is the place you go to for your stationery.
The Good Guys
This is an electrical superstore, from computers to TVs, refrigerators to microwaves, air conditioning to portable heaters, The Good Guys have it all. Are they really Good Guys? I don’t know, I haven’t met them all.
Think Curry’s and you already know what they sell in The Good Guys.
Update: Alas, Dick Smith went into liquidation in 2016 and is no more. It’s a sordid story involving a takeover by an equity firm, some very inventive accounting, a listing on the stock exchange, a half billion dollar stock market float and a disappearing act.
News.com.au explain it all in five easy steps.
This is what Dick Smith used to be though…
More electrical stuff, just like above, except without the white goods. I think they used to specialise in specialist stuff like electrical components, you know, diodes, connectors and soldering irons. Think RadioShack for a comparison.
But I don’t think anybody buys that stuff any more, do they? Don’t we just throw stuff away and buy a new one?
Their bigger stores also sell white goods and all of their stores sell DVD movies, DVD TV series and music CDs.
There you go, that’s my top 10 list of popular Australian retail stores. It’s in no particular order and it certainly doesn’t reflect sales, turnover, popularity or anything statistically accurate. They are just 10 shops I see a lot.
Time for a joke.
A guy walks into a bar and sits on a stool. “Don’t sit there” says the barman “that’s Big W’s stool.”
“Well” says the guy “I don’t see no Big W in here now.” And he sits on the stool all the same.
“Big W is going to be mighty cheesed off with you when he walks in” says the barman.
Three minutes later a huge guy walks into the bar, he’s 6 foot four and built like a house.
“Gulp!” says the guy sitting on the stool “is that Big W?”
“No” says the barman, “that’s his little boy, this is Big W….”
There you have my quick roundup of popular stores in Australia, 11 for the price of 10.