I had some lengthy discussions with one of the other Instructors whose brother-in-law had a Dick Smith Electronics shop in a WA country town.
DSE was just in the throes of allocating Franchises (as opposed to Stockist outlets) in some larger country towns and we put up our hand for one and were chosen to open a DSE Franchise in Mandurah, just outside the Perth Metro area.
It suited us very well and we opened in November 1998.
Our first day:
We certainly stocked up for Christmas sales, and post Christmas sales. Robyn and I would come in on Christmas day afternoon to put the stock out for Boxing Day.
Our annual conferences were just outstanding. We had such fun. One in Adelaide was a Murder Mystery theme with all sorts of characters and shenanigans.
At these Conferences we were given previews of all the new products for Christmas and the coming 12 months.
DSE Head Office was kind enough to provide sponsorship for the Third Australian National 4WD Gathering at Mt Augustus in 2000. My 4WD Club in Perth were the organisers.
In late 2006 I approached Head Office to see if they were interested in buying our Franchise back from us. They were, and in February 2007, we handed our shop back to the Company. This was our last day (it seems all that changed was that I shaved off my moustache, oh, and my hair went grey and Robyn's didn't. How does that work?):
So "our" shop was a Company store from February 2007 until sometime in 2014 or so when it was sold to an Equity Firm that floated it on the stock market. The less said about that the better.
Dick Smith Electronics, for so long a household name in Australia, went broke and the stores progressively sold off all their stock and closed their doors.
The Mandurah Forum shopping centre began a comprehensive revamp and expansion and today, Wednesday 11th May 2016, this was our old shop:
We spent almost 9 very happy, hard working years there with some excellent staff. Thanks to our daughter Elizabeth, Adrian, Dennis, Carl, Dyo, Kate, Storm, and John with considerable help and support from HO Staff, Susan and Steve.
Special thanks, and love, to Robyn who took on this challenge and ran the best organised back dock ever.