Retirement signals end of era

Margaret Beatson has seen a few changes in her 30-plus years at Kmart – the changeover to decimal currency, developments in computers and the introduction of the GST – but she has taken it all in her stride.

This week Ms Beatson marked her retirement and 31 years in the job. She started at Coles in 1981 and moved to Kmart when it first opened in Lansell Plaza.

“I was actually at Coles when the decimal currency came in. We got uptight about it because we thought it would be a major thing but it all went smoothly,” she said.

“Then GST came in and everyone thought that would be a big upheaval but that went through smoothly too.

“It’s computers which changed the whole structure of everything; made it all a bit quicker. Now they have self registers.”

There’s been a lot of ups and downs during her time at the department store.

“The hardest thing was when the bushfires came through and we had to cope with a lot of people who had lost their homes,” Ms Beatson said.

Ms Beatson said she would miss interacting with customers the most.

“I got to know a lot of the customers out there because customer service was the number one priority,” she said.

“I will miss the customers especially the senior ones who would spend a special day at Kmart each week.”

The keen gardener and cook will spend her retirement with her “wonderful” family, including four children and 11 grandchildren.

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