Celebrating 50 years at Westfield Marion

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Celebrating 50 years at Westfield Marion

When South Australia’s first newsagency opened in 1968, it stocked items like fountain pens, matchbox cars and even the board game Twister alongside the two daily newspapers. Most people had their papers delivered back then, and Bob Campbell was taking a risk that customers wanted a more personal experience. It was a risk that paid off, and Campbell’s Newsagency is still going strong at Westfield Marion as it gets ready to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary.

Over the years Campbell’s expanded to a range of other stores and even used to advertise on the big screen at West Lakes when Bob was chairman of the Adelaide Football Club. But increased pressure from supermarkets meant that those shops had to be sold or closed and now Bob’s daughter Sarah presides over the original store, which she has managed since 2000.

She’s had to innovate to keep up with the changing times by opening a ticketing kiosk in Westfield Marion, expanding the range of gifts she stocks and even selling items through the store’s Facebook page. But some things haven’t changed, and Campbell’s still has a wide range of newspapers, magazines, cards and great specials on back to school supplies.

For Sarah, Campbell’s Newsagency has been a constant throughout her life – she was six when the store opened and says that “my whole family grew up working behind the counter.” And it wasn’t just her family – she’s employed so many locals over the years that it’s hard for her to walk around the shopping centre without being recognised.

Many of them still come into the store, along with customers who have been shopping at Campbell’s for decades. But perhaps no customers are more loyal than the lottery jackpot winners, and there have been a few. “Over the years we called ourselves the lucky lottery newsagent because we seemed to be getting them all,” Sarah laughs, and she’s lost count of how many millions of dollars have been won through the store.

Some of those lucky winners even brought chocolates into the store afterwards to say thank you. It’s a reminder that like her father, Sarah runs a store that’s still all about the relationship she has with her customers.

Words by Alexis Buxton-Collins

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