The third time’s a charm for this place. It’s more entertaining if you imagine the history like this:
EXT. KIDS CLOTHES WAREHOUSE – DAY
A bold, shiny new sign gleams from the top corner of the warehouse. The owner stands outside, waiting for the delivery of his first shipment of stock. His assistant emerges from inside.
ASSISTANT: The supplier just called to say the shipment should be here any minute!
OWNER: Great! We’re gonna make a killing!
The truck chugs up the road and pulls in. As the assistant signs for the order, the stock is unloaded. The owner notices it’s nothing but ladies clothing. He holds it up for the assistant to see.
OWNER: You idiot!
EXT. LADIES CLOTHES WAREHOUSE – DAY
A bold, shiny NEWER sign gleams above the doorway of the warehouse. The owner finishes tossing the last of the Kids Clothes sign into the skip as the truck drives up the street towards the warehouse. The assistant gingerly emerges from inside, holding an order slip.
ASSISTANT: Uh, boss…the shipment…I’m sorry…
The owner shuts his eyes and sighs.
The truck pulls up. The driver opens the back door, and hundreds of shoes pour out.
EXT. THE SHOE DEPOT WAREHOUSE – DAY
The biggest, boldest sign yet sits above the doorway. The Ladies Clothing sign has been halfheartedly spraypainted over. A sign sits in the front window – it reads ‘ASSISTANT WANTED’.
The failure of Niche Menswear proves that targeting a niche never works out financially. Scandals Direct have chosen to ignore that lesson, catering to the 1% of the public who demanded the middleman be cut out of their scandals. Niche work if you can get it.
SCANDALOUS UPDATE: According to eagle-eyed and fashion conscious reader Vanessa, it was actually called NICHOLAS Menswear once upon a time. Luckily, if you read my writeup and imagine it says Nicholas instead of Niche, it still works. In this case though, shouldn’t they have called it Manswear?
In Bankstown’s dank and decrepit Compass Centre Arcade, Fowlers Shoes once provided footwear to the populace. The sign sports the original compass logo of the centre, which appears to have never once been refurbished throughout its long and pointless existence. Fowlers dates back to the 1950s, which was a time before the Compass Centre, so obviously they knew how to sell shoes.
These days, as the arcade rots around her, ‘Jo-Anne’ has taken it upon herself to clothe Bankstown, one lady at a time.
Yeah, this one’s an easy target but it’s Friday, so gimme a break. If we look past the brand name for a moment we can see this building belonged to the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited (CBC). The CBC was established in 1834, and here’s its seal:
Now, I know what we’re all thinking: “How can I find out more about the boat in that seal?”
The CBC website answers our prayers:
“Thermopylae was an extreme composite clipper ship built in 1868 by Walter Hood & Co of Aberdeen to the design of Bernard Weymouth of London for the White Star Line of Aberdeen.
She measured 212’0″×36’0″×20’9″ and tonnage 991 GRT, 948 NRT and 927 tons under deck. The under deck coefficient was 0,58. Rigged with royal sails, single topgallant and double top-sails.
She was designed for the China tea trade, and set speed records on her maiden voyage to Melbourne — 63 days, still the fastest trip under sail. In 1872 she raced the clipper Cutty Sark from Shanghai back to London and won by seven days after Cutty Sark lost her rudder. In 1895 she was sold to Portugal and used as a naval training ship. The Portuguese Navy torpedoed her at sea in 1906.”
But for every nagging mystery solved, another pops up in its place, such as why Burberry needs a safe deposit area:
But that just goes to show that they used to build banks to last. To these designers, the CBC was going to rule the waves forever, but the truth is much more banal. In 1981 it was absorbed by the National Australia Bank, whose logo can be found bolted to the front of this building. Looking inside, we can see the extent of the bank’s lavish furnishings:
After having a look at some of those price tags, I can safely say that even though Burberry has only been at this location for a year (it was previously Sydney’s only Virgin Megastore), it’s banked fatter coin than the CBC ever did.