Dobsons, Celebrating 100 Years

January 18, 2019


It is a momentous occasion for one of Hawthorns oldest retailers last month with Dobsons clothing and uniform store celebrating 100 years in business on December 13th, 2018.

Fourth generation Dobson, Managing Director, Alistair Dobson says he couldn’t be prouder to be celebrating the event alongside his brother Warwick and father Ian.

“This business has meant so much to our family for such a long time and we are all very proud to celebrate this occasion alongside the Boroondara community.  The Dobsons business has been trusted to fit tens of thousands of children over the last 100 years – an honour that makes our family immensely proud. To all those schools and families who have made this day possible - thank you for your valued support.”

First opening their doors on Glenferrie Road on Friday in 1918, Dobsons originally began as a menswear store, selling coats, hats and umbrellas.


In 1918 from humble beginnings Thomas Walter Dobson first planted the seed that is now Dobsons Pty Ltd.

Opening his first store just 100 meters from our current location in Glenferrie Road, it was Thomas’ dream to supply every school in the surrounding area with affordable school wear garments, sourced from the finest quality.

A successful menswear business early on, Thomas recognised a need for quality school uniforms and so did his son Walter Dobson who entered the business in 1935. Wal grew the business with his father and set about laying the foundations of a secure future.

Thomas passed away and it was then up to Wal to continue in his father’s footsteps. He championed anything local and was appointed the Mayor of the City of Hawthorn and Justice of the Peace.


By the early 1920’s Dobsons had expanded their services into school uniforms – a sector they proudly continue to service today.

In 1949, Ian Dobson was born and was destined to follow his father. After completing his degree at the University of Monash, Ian was appointed General Manager and soon became the future of Dobsons. Being a new wave thinker, Ian’s passion for developing the business soon became apparent and his desire to take Dobsons to even greater heights forged new territory.

Ian established our first ever school shop on campus in 1985. Since then, Ian has built Dobsons into one of the largest school shop operators nationally.


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