News: Watson’s is the Talk of the Town

Watson’s Hardware, a Thrifty-Link store in NSW, has undergone many changes in its 77-year life – the most dramatic when it moved from Campsie to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains. Now Danks has given it a new lease of life with a refit that’s literally the talk of the town. The store’s manager, Jenny Muir, says the refit has brought more people through the door and business has improved, but one of the most notable differences is there’s now more room to stand and have a chat.

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“We’ve become a bit of a gathering place for the locals,” Jenny said. “With just a couple of thousand people, the town is more like an extended family so most people know each other.”

According to Jenny, Danks was marvellous and supplied lots of ideas. “They were very hands on and provided lots of staff – at one point there were more Danks staff than store staff – and that meant we didn’t have to close at any point during the refit.”

The family-run store can trace its origins back to Jack and Elsie Watson, Jenny’s great uncle and aunt, who first opened the doors of Watson’s Hardware in Campsie back in 1929. When Elsie lost her husband, Jenny’s mother and father, Pam and Max (a president of the HRA in his early years) Beattie joined his aunt in the business.

Jenny went into the family business 21 years ago and worked at the store in Campsie. After the store burnt down in 1980, the store relocated to Blackheath, however Pam and Max decided to leave the running of the business to Jenny and Geoff, and a cousin who has since gone into farming.

The family tradition remains with Jenny’s son, Sean Muir, and son-in-law, Julian Bradshaw, helping run the store. “Sean and Julian complement each other well,” said Jenny. “Sean is undertaking a number of management courses and Julian is studying horticulture and is very interested in the garden centre side of the business.”

Watson’s has had a long association with Danks. It was formerly a Homestead store and, apart from four years as an independent store, it has always had links with the group. Watson’s look forward to continuing their long association with Danks.