VANA MEMBER PROFILE- WILLIAMS NEWSAGENCY
Address: 917 Sturt Street, Ballarat Central VIC 3550
Store Owner: Bruce and Joanne Thomson
Years as a newsagent: 40+ years
Products Sold: Papers and magazines, the Lott products, stationery, giftware, greeting cards, hats, toys, books, mobile accessories, photocopying, Blueshyft, and Amazon.
Bruce and Joanne have been in the business for over forty years – taking over from Joanne’s parents in the late 1970s. Since then, they have striven to create an interesting and entertaining environment for all employees and customers.
Through the development of a loyal customer base over these 40+ years, Bruce and Joanne have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to continue trading during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also a result of local television advertising that has drawn in more customers than ever before.
As part of the business’s 40th birthday celebration in November of 2019, a free barbeque was organised by the Lions Club of Ballarat, along with in store entertainment provided by local jazz musicians and face painters. This allowed customers and employees both past and present to come together and reminisce about their shared experiences at Williams’ Newsagency over many years.
During the Australian football season, Bruce participates in the local newspaper tipping competition, which he strategically won in 2019. This competition assists in providing great interaction with customers as they gather from all around Ballarat to debate whether they agree or disagree with Bruce’s tips.
One of the most prominent store features at Williams Newsagency is the ever-changing window display, which is altered to correlate with various seasonal and promotional trends throughout the year, including holidays such as Easter, Christmas and Australia Day, as well as the AFL, Mother’s/Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day. This has resulted in one of the store’s biggest accomplishments – winning the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake competition, which was achieved by recreating the cake on the cover of the 40th anniversary edition of the book.
Over the summer period, staff are working hard to stock a range of seasonal commodities, particularly surrounding Lotto products. This includes our extremely popular scratchie trees, which range in price and can be specially ordered by customers to suit their individual needs.