Elaine Fenwick was assigned to run the Weatherfield branch of Bettabuy with assistant manager Curly Watts when Reg Holdsworth was promoted to Head Office until a full-time manager was appointed. Curly and Elaine were both in line for the position but Elaine had a head start over Curly as she knew all the board members personally, with only Reg speaking up for Curly. However, Reg secured the job for Curly and Elaine was appointed assistant manager instead.
Elaine remained cool towards Curly in her new position. Unlike Curly who was laid back and friendly with the staff, Elaine was by-the-book and enforced Head Office policy by keeping a professional distance from everyone. Curly tried to befriend Elaine by suggesting that they go for a drink together but Elaine thought he was trying to chat her up and told him it would be a waste of his and her time. They clashed again when Curly stopped Vera Duckworth from going through the checkout with tins stashed inside baby Tommy's pram, saving Vera from getting into trouble. Elaine stole the security tape from Curly's desk to prove he'd gone against Head Office policy and passed it onto Reg, resulting in Curly being reprimanded.
Elaine was keen to move up the Bettabuy career ladder. In October, she implemented a wine promotion which resulted in profits doubling. Curly continued to resent her until Maud Grimes gave him a tarot reading where she predicted that he'd already met his future wife at work. Around the same time, Elaine suggested that they try harder to get along for the store's sake, and agreed to go to dinner with him. Curly started to fall for her and arranged with Head Office for her not to get the manager's job at Goole, which she'd recently been recommended for. He came clean with Elaine when they were about to get it on at 7 Coronation Street - thinking she'd be thrilled - but she was furious and walked out. On discovering the Goole job had gone to someone else, Elaine refused to be useful in the store, telling Curly he obviously just wanted a bimbo to flutter her eyelashes at him.
Elaine's attitude towards Curly didn't change but they had another brief encounter when, during the Bettabuy Christmas staff party, Elaine got drunk and took Curly up to her hotel room, but she fell asleep before anything happened and then forgot all about it. Back at work, she slapped Curly when he suggested they nearly went to bed.
In January 1994, Elaine was appointed the new area manager. Later that year, when Curly was sacked from Bettabuy, he discovered that Elaine (amongst others) had filed a sexual harassment complaint against him.