Myer’s place in history

SIDNEY Myer’s contribution to Bendigo will be cemented in the city where he began his retail empire.City of Greater Bendigo councillors voted to rename the section of Williamson Street between Bendigo Creek and Pall Mall Sidney Myer Place in a tribute to to the man who opened the first Myer store, in Bendigo in 1900.Myer was born in Russia in 1878 and migrated to Australia in 1896. He began his retail business in Bendigo in 1899 as a travelling vendor before renting a store in Pall Mall in 1900. Myer’s Bendigo drapery store drew crowds of customers with its irresistible bargains and its owner’s flair for new fashion trends and presenting stock. By 1907 it employed more than 60 staff. In 1908, Sidney Myer purchased Craig Williamson Pty Ltd, a leading local drapery firm. In 1911, Myer seized the opportunity to purchase Wright & Neil, a drapery store in Bourke Street, Melbourne, and went on to create the Myer Emporium.City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Rod Campbell said: “Renaming this high profile space ‘Sidney Myer Place’ not only recognises the connection between Myer and Bendigo but also assists both residents and visitors to easily identify the space.“It also has a great relationship to Bendigo’s existing Myer store.’’He said Sidney Myer’s connection to Bendigo was unique and the connection to the Myer family had continued through the family’s ongoing support of the Bendigo Art Gallery.

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