SIDNEY Myer managed to build a mighty retailing empire by trudging the streets of Bendigo and bringing shopping to the people.

Sure, he also became one of Australia’s largest property owners as his door-to-door business morphed into an impressive national chain of department stores, but the business was built on hawking his goods on the streets.

He was born Simcha Myer Baevski, the youngest of 11 children in a Russian Jewish family on February 8, 1878.

Retailing was in his blood.

His mother had a drapery shop in his home town, Krichev in present-day Belarus.

In August 1899, Simcha followed his older brother Elcon to Australia. With little money, he began working with Elcon at Slutzkin’s, an underclothing manufacturer in Melbourne.

Within months, he and Elcon headed for Bendigo. Why Bendigo?


Read the full article by Jamie Duncan at the Herald Sun (subscriber only).

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