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Businesses in Southbank

13 Aug 2015

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Having operated in Melbourne since the 1930s, Downies Coins is Australia’s longest-running numismatic collectables business.

While the business opened its first standalone retail store in the CBD in 1994, it has recently moved to its new home at level three of the Southgate shopping precinct in Southbank.

Stocking a wide range of modern and historical numismatic issues, marketing manager Luke Templeton said the store had something for everyone.

“We’re a business that sells coins, banknotes, militaria, stamps, jewellery and generally whatever interests peoples collecting habits!” he said.

“We sell via a number of other channels including mail order, online, wholesale, and through auction.”

“Each channel really complements the other but we see our retail stores as a fantastic opportunity to be face-to-face with our clients and the resulting dialogue is very powerful.”

In 1932, at barely 16 years of age, founder Phil Downie established the Palmerston North Stamp Company in New Zealand before moving to Australia in 1937.

Since then, Downies has expanded into all fields of collectables and notably numismatic coins and banknotes to become an industry leader in Australia.

Open six days a week and just a five-minute walk from Flinders St, Mr Templeton said the spacious new venue at Southgate offered a professional, educational and highly personalised experience for its customers.

“We try to draw on our knowledge and experience and I think that is appreciated by the customer.”

“Coin collecting is one of the oldest known hobbies and there is a rich history in Australian numismatics – which is something that our customers really connect with,” he said.

“I think when someone can come into your store and actually learn something, it’s fantastic. That sense of learning and connection to history is probably the foundation of collecting for most people.”

Led by store manager Neil Luxton and assistants Sally McTaggart and Julie Pickering, Luke said the whole team at Southgate held a strong passion for the trade.  

“I collected modern coin issues as a kid myself so when an opportunity became available it was something that sort of piqued my interest and I think that’s actually how a lot of our staff come to find us,” he said.

“Working with something you’re passionate about and assisting others in their passion is highly rewarding, so we’re very lucky.”

After many years operating in Melbourne’s CBD, Mr Templeton said his team and customers alike were enjoying the relaxed nature of its new location at Southgate.

“It’s a great location and the centre here at Southgate is fantastic,” he said.

“We’re in what is now probably the central tourist, entertainment, shopping, and cultural hub of Melbourne so it complements our business well.”  

For further information visit

www.downies.com/retail

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