Monday, 4 August 2014

1973: Mt Druitt Grace Bros Opening Advert

When I came across this clipping several years ago, I did not believe that Mt Druitt actually had a Grace Bros. It was the anchor tenant in "Marketown". In 1992, it would land in the hands of Westfield and become Westfield Mount Druitt.


Source: Grace Bros. 1973. "Mt Druitt Grace Bros Opening Advertisement," The Sydney Morning Herald, October 9: 4. 

I had to do a quick scan of the internet to find out a little as to what happened to the store. Going by what I have read, the store closed in 2004. The space is now occupied by Coles and other speciality stores.

.

2 comments:

  1. I was told by a very senior (retired) Grace Brothers executive some years ago that the development of this shopping centre was an unmitigated disaster for the company. The store itself never made a profit, but contractual obligations required that it was kept open for thirty years, after which it promptly closed. The decision to invest in building the centre was made on the back of promises by the then State Government that large scale (non housing commission) residential development was to be permitted nearby, and that major transport infrastructure works would be completed in the near term (specifically the completion of the Castlereagh F2 Freeway, and the reconstruction of Mt Druitt railway station as major bus rail interchange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can confirm the details shown above. The decision by Grace Bros to sign a thirty year lease was the biggest mistake. They believed that the promises made by the state government would turn Mt Druitt into a major regional center and when this didn't happen they (Grace Bros) could not get out of the lease. Throughout this period department stores were struggling to survive in the face of competition from the many new specialist retailers opening stores, adding to the problem at Grace Bros Mt Druitt.
      I worked in the store from 1973 until about 1982. The store was trading at a profit in simple terms but when a share of head office and other costs were deducted the result was a loss.
      Grace Bros was a well run business and this was one of very few mistakes made by management, believing politicians!

      Delete