Junk Shopping Centre

The Erlanks tell the story of Junk Shopping Centre in their own words:

For twenty years we had two small shops that supplemented the income of our farming activities as times were hard.  In 1983, we decided to open a business in Pongola.  The business that we were due to hire unfortunately had to close its doors due to the poor economic situation over the past year.”

“We borrowed R16 000 to invest in our business and purchased stock as sensibly as possible.  On 28 April 1983, our business, Junk Shop, was launched.  Our aim was to offer the best possible prices, supply superb service and to make an effort to satisfy our customers.”

“After one year, the floor space of 216m² was too small.  At that stage the businesses next to us were keen to rent their floor space to us.  Within five years we had 2000m² trading space.”

“In 1988, Mrs Erlank was elected by the Johannesburg National Board of Business Women as the Entrepreneur Woman of the Year.  Today the store trades on 3000m².  Walls have been knocked down, which means everything is under one roof – hence the name ‘Junk Shopping Centre’.”

“We believe that the success of our business is the combination of absolute dedication and the reliable service we offer our customers.  Our love for people makes it easy to motivate our staff, which in turn, transmits this love and interest to our customers.  So much so that the people in Pongola refer to Junk Shop as ‘Our Own Shop’.”

“Our shop is unique in many ways.  It consists of 30 different little shops all under one roof.  Our main aim is to be a country shop with a difference and offer the experience of a lifetime.  Some of the small ‘shops’ within Junk Shopping Centre are a bakery, a 1-Hour photo lab, a material department, a supermarket, a guns and ammunition department, a butchery, stationery, gardening and hardware centres.  Framing, faxing and photocopying facilities are also available.   Junk Shopping Centre even makes number plates!”

“Tourists visiting out area are completely taken by what they see in a little country town.  Recently we found that visiting tourists seem to have heard about us via other people from abroad!  Every morning our whole staff gets together to start the day with prayers and singing.  This is of course the main reason for the loving atmosphere in our business.  We also have a Zulu choir that sings – and if tour groups visit us we can easily call them together for a song or two.  We would appreciate that tours planning a visit notify us in advance so that we can arrange a trip through the business.”

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