Big W celebrates two decades in town
BIG W yesterday marked a big milestone in the Rose City.
One of the first shops to open in the centre in 1997, the retailer welcomed Warwick kids in store to celebrate with cake, balloons and giveaways.
Event co-ordinator Deb Bradfield is one of just three of the original staff still working at the store after 20 years.
After starting as a door greeter, Mrs Bradfield soon moved onto a promotions and marketing role.
"For 10 years I was in that role and we used to dress up all the time and do events like we had for the 20 years today,” she said.
"We haven't done that sort of thing in a while and coming in today a lot of the mums and dads knew me from when they were kids.
"For the first 10 years the biggest thing was getting us accepted in town, and there was no other Big W store that was really doing the dress ups and sort of promotions like we were.
"Being in a smaller town too it means a lot of us are really like a family.”
Big W store manager Sarah Borger said the store had retained loyal staff over the years.
"We've employed a lot of locals some of whom started right out of have come up through the ranks and become managers,” Ms Borger said.
"I remember when the shopping centre first opened and I'd come and bring my kids to see Snow White.”
Mrs Bradfield said through community fundraising, the Warwick community eventually embraced Big W and sales tripled after about three years.
She said it was exciting to see the new developments in the shopping centre.
"We've seen it grow in size over 20 years and I think a lot of people a waiting to see it finished,” Mrs Bradfield said.