In Business

Online Retailing Compliments Bricks And Mortar Stores

Victor P Taffa

Online retailing compliments Bricks and Mortar stores to the benefit of the customer.

Online retailing is just a modern tool in the armoury of successful Bricks and Mortar stores.

Sydney CBD used to be the place to do your shopping until retailers spread into the suburbs and built car parks that encouraged people to shop in the suburbs.

Sydney’s Central Business District always has and always will remain at the heart of the life, growth and prosperity of New South Wales.

Despite decentralisation and growth further afield, Businesses, Government and the wider populace will continue to come to the Sydney CBD.

Ever since 1788, the centre of activity has been in Sydney. However, Sydney is littered with retail businesses now consigned to the history books. 

Names such as Bebarfalds, Waltons, Anthony Horderns, Grace Bros, Gowings, Mark Foys, Bon Marche, Farmers and Marcus Clarke are some that served to remind us just how the CBD has played a part in the life of Sydney and New South Wales.

No doubt with the advent of universal car ownership and suburban shopping centres that shopping patterns have changed. However, there is still a certain ‘magic’ of going to ‘town’.

Retail Expansion With The Railway

In 1927, retail department store David Jones opened a new multi-storey Department Store on Elizabeth Street when the City Underground Railway opened at St. James in 1926.

Railways radiate into the Sydney CBD. Currently, the City Circle line is running at capacity.

Future ability to expand our existing Railways depends on new lines for the CBD.

When the Railway from Sydney to Parramatta was opened in 1855, the city planners knew that the Railway would have to go into the city. Initially the Railway terminated at what we now call Redfern.

Tramways came in 1861 and went in 1961. The replacement by buses was supposed to be the answer to all our problems.

In 1926, the City underground Railway opened. The City Circle line was completed in 1956.

Even in 1932, when the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened, there were four railway tracks of which two remain and two became Tram lines and were removed in 1958.

Of the two tracks that were used by the Tramways these were to form part of a Railway to the Northern Beaches.

With the City Circle lines at capacity, there is a need to construct a new CBD line so future demand is met and the expansion of the Railways can proceed. Suburban Railway expansion requires lines to connect to from somewhere and join an existing system.

Isolated lines or Driverless lines will only remain disjointed and not solve the problems as intended.

NSW Anthony Hordern & Sons Department Store Sydney

NSW Mark Foys Department Store Sydney











Coles were in Liverpool Street, Sydney near Mark Foys Department Store.

Woolworths Store at the corner of George and Park Streets was the Bebarfald Department store before it became the Woolworths Store.

Barnet Bebarfald began Bebarfald Store.

Around 1894 Bebarfald established a store opposite Sydney Town Hall at the corner of George and Park Streets.

  • In 1929 a new 8 storey building was built on the site.
  • In 1931 Woolworths were invited to have a presence in the Ground Floor of the store.
  • By 1967 an additional 2 storeys were added.
  • In 1968 the company was taken over by Ajax Insurance Limited.

Bebarfalds suburban stores continued to trade under the name until around 1973 when they became part of Macy’s Emporium (Sydney) Pty Ltd.

In 1965, Woolworths obtained the long-term lease of Bebarfalds city store, opposite Sydney Town Hall.

Retail Expansion

After World War II suburban branches were opened and by 1965 these included:

  • Parramatta,
  • Cabramatta,
  • Caringbah,
  • Fairfield,
  • Jannali,
  • Maroubra,
  • Stanmore,
  • Sutherland,
  • West Ryde.

In the same year, Woolworths obtained the long-term lease of Bebarfalds city store and in 1968 the company was taken over by Ajax Insurance Limited.

Bebarfalds’ suburban stores continued to trade under their own name until around 1973 when they became part of Macy’s Emporium (Sydney) Pty Ltd.

Bricks and Mortar stores will always serve the customer and online retailing compliments that process.


Woolworths Town Hall Store, opposite Sydney Town Hall.


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