Williams, with us from the beginning
It’s hard to believe, when Tea Tree Plaza first opened in September 1970, it was a fraction of its current size and had just 41 stores. Both the centre and its stores have witnessed plenty of changes since then, but over fifty years there remains one constant. You’ll find Williams Shoes in its exact location as when it first opened all that time ago.
After half a century Williams Shoes continues to deliver exceptional customer service and remains a 100% Australian family owned business.
Just like Tea Tree Plaza, the store has had many upgrades over the years. But some things are exactly the same as they were when the centre first opened. Every January the store fills up with excited children and their nervous parents preparing for another school year. And there are usually plenty of familiar faces – some of the customers who first came in as schoolkids now return each year with their own children or even grandchildren.
Store Manager Karen Hooper was a schoolgirl herself when Tea Tree Plaza first opened and remembers the excitement well. As a proud local she has fond memories of coming in most weekends. “There wasn’t even late night shopping back then,” she laughs. “It was Saturday morning shopping, and it was quite a small centre.”
And she’s seen every stage of its expansion up close, first as a customer and then as an employee at Target for 36 years. When Karen moved to Williams, it was like switching to a different room in the family home and she still gets recognised by customers frequently. “Lots of people that used to shop there know me,” she says, and they’re joined by plenty of other regulars.
“We see the same people on Thursday mornings, we see the Mall Walkers walking group that comes around... It’s like a little family to most of the people in the surrounding area here.”