The Marcus Clark department store empire got its start in Newtown, with its first store setting up in Brown Street. This building, on the corner of King and Brown Streets, is not that store. Just as the Marcus Clark Railway Square store was pretentiously known as Bon Marche Ltd, this one was branded Hobson’s Ltd; a subsidiary of Marcus Clark which had a sister store in North Sydney. A world away from Slurpees, Hobson’s sold Pabco Rugs. Not familiar with Pabco Rugs? You must not be a housewife:
When company director Reginald Marcus Clark (Sir Reg) died in 1953, the brand entered a state of free fall. In 1966 the ailing store’s locations were bought out – and subsequently rebranded or shut down – by their bitter rival, retail heavyweight Waltons. It wouldn’t be long until Waltons got a taste of their own medicine…but don’t worry, we’ll get to that.
Prior to its time as Hobson’s, this address was home to F. W. Hartley Undertaker and Embalmer. I can’t say for certain, but I’m pretty sure embalming fluid and Slurpees have a lot in common.