Morley Johnson prided itself on good value for money and surviving catalogues show that the firm sold everything for the home ...
The company first appeared in the Sydney Sands directory for 1907 and in its earliest advertisements referred to itself as 'The money-saving house furnisher'.
Morley Johnson prided itself on good value for money and surviving catalogues show that the firm sold everything for the home: furniture, curtains and other soft furnishings, beds and bedding, carpets and floor coverings, lamps, radios, dinnerware and kitchenware. A 1930s catalogue (TC 749.20493 MOR/1) offered customers a trade-in of old furniture for new, a 12-month free trial of their radios and free measure and quotes for the installation of blinds, curtains, linoleum and carpets.
In the 1930s, Morley Johnson offered customers payment through lay-by that comprised a deposit and then payment by a series of installments. However, a 1958 catalogue, 'Everything for the home' (TC 749.20495 MOR/1) introduced a new system where no deposit was necessary on any purchase. This change of policy is perhaps evidence of the more competitive retail environment that existed after World War II for firms like Morley Johnson.
After several years of declining earnings, Morley Johnson closed its George Street store in 1964 and within two years was taken over by Milton Investments Ltd. In 1965, electrical and furniture retailer Bonds & Kirbys opened a branch on the site of Morley Johnson's former George Street store. Morley Johnsons was one of a number of furnishing stores that disappeared from central Sydney in the 1960s and 70s as city rents rose and shopping centres were built in the suburbs.