Melbourne Central Shot TowerIf you've ever been to Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, you're likely to remember it – it's the one that has a clocktower right in the middle with an ornate glass dome around it (pictured left). The clock plays Waltzing Matilda every hour, just to remind tourists (and maybe locals) which country they're in.

In the shopping centre you will find the King of Knives store, owned by Rosemary Herry. Rosemary has been in retail for a little while (26 years) and has worked at King of Knives for just under half of that time (11 years) and a store owner for about half of that (6 years). So it's fair to say she know her way around knives.

She runs her store in what is probably the heart of shopping Mecca, not just for Melbourne, but for Australia. The Melbourne Central shopping centre is linked via walkways to two other indoor shopping centres – the Emporium and the Myer/David Jones centre. If shopping's your thing, you couldn't chose a better place.

Rosemary's clientele is a little different to those of other King of Knives stores in Victoria and interstate. Since there are so many good camping/fishing/hunting type stores either within the centre or close by, she doesn't sell many items that you would ordinarily find in these places.

Instead her customers are home cooks, people working in hospitality or the tourism industry, or tourists from overseas (particularly Malaysia at the moment) who are looking for high end kitchen gear. You won't be surprised to know that Japanese style chefs knives are very popular at the moment and the most asked question... “how long does it stay sharp?”.

“When it comes to professional chefs knives, I.O.Shen knives retain their edge incredibly well.” says Rosemary. “We're getting a lot of chefs buying them now and all the feedback we get is that they stay sharp for a long time. It's just an added bonus that I.O.Shen knives are made so well and look so beautiful too.”

The Nirey electric sharpening range is popular as well, one she rates very highly. In six years only two have come back into the shop, and in both cases replaced quickly, no questions asked by the distributors, Total Knife Care. “Total Knife Care's customer service is second to none” she says, and this gives her the confidence to stand behind the brand, knowing she has backup if it's ever needed.

Over the years she has noticed a lot of changes. Much as with other King of Knives stores, she's seen a huge impact from the TV shows. Right now the raw food diet trend is seeing a lot of spiralisers go out the door, and for reasons yet to be discovered, kettles shaped like ducks, giraffes and cows are quite popular at the moment.

There's also a very popular item which benefits from the Melburnian love of coffee and desire to do the right thing environmentally – the 'keep' cup, which is a reusable, environmentally friendly coffee cup (the more colourful the better, apparently).

The internet has massively changed the world of retail in recent years. People coming in to the shop have already done their research and know all the prices, but Rosemary stays keenly competitive and has adjusted to the “new normal”. She even has a sale on I.O.Shen knives right now. Better get down to Melbourne ASAP.

King of Knives
Melbourne Central
Shop 018 Ground Floor 211 Latrobe Street 3000

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Melbourne_Central_Shopping_Centre_Coop%27s_Shot_Tower.jpg