When David Jones opened its first New Zealand store in Wellington, it took over a heritage Kiwi department store that had hit major trouble. With its first Auckland store, it’s opening a brand new shop in a brand new location – Westfield Newmarket. We compare and contrast, and explore the new David Jones.
Back in 2015, Australian department store David Jones caused a sensation when it swooped in to replace failing 152-year-old department store Kirkcaldie & Stains. David Jones paid around $428,000 to take over Kirkcaldie & Stains’ lease and buy the rights to use its name.
It then spent $20 million refurbishing Kirkcaldie & Stains’ heritage building on Lambton Quay before opening in July 2016. The store represented David Jones’ first foray outside of Australia.
At the opening event, David Jones chief executive Ian Moir spoke of the journey of getting the store ready to launch.
“Kirkcaldie & Staines really is a grand old dame of Wellington. We couldn’t believe our luck when we got the opportunity to come here and take the baton over, spend a bit of money and make sure Kirkcaldie & Staines becomes David Jones becomes what it always was and really should be. And that’s the best department store in New Zealand.”
Its Auckland location couldn’t be more different – and less traditional. Not only is it a brand new location, it’s the crowning jewel of a brand new shopping centre, the $790 million Westfield Newmarket. Spanning a gross lettable area of 88,000 square metres, the centre also boasts a new-format Farmers department store, a Countdown supermarket and more than 230 specialty stores.
David Jones’ first store in Auckland opened on November 21, with a 7,000 square metre space trading over two floors. It houses more than 400 brands across fashion, beauty, accessories and home. It also offers services such as a personal shopper, beauty services by appointment and a gift registry.
“This is a milestone for David Jones, to be opening our second international store and to be part of this major development in the heart of Auckland, a vibrant global city in an exciting period of transformation,” says Moir. “We are proud to be delivering an exceptional offering of David Jones exclusive brands and services to our customers here and look forward to further evolving our presence in New Zealand.”
David Jones has expanded its range of New Zealand brands ahead of the store opening, to ensure local brands are well represented. New Kiwi labels now stocked in David Jones Newmarket include Harris Tapper and Wynn Hamlyn, joining New Zealand labels currently stocked in its Australian stores including Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester, Trelise Cooper, Deadly Ponies, and Saben.
The store also introduces a range of international fashion and beauty to Auckland, including Carla Zampatti, Rixo, ALC, Tibi, Nanushka and Ulla Johnson, and the much-anticipated arrival of Gucci Makeup in New Zealand, La Prairie, La Mer, Chanel, Grown Alchemist and Guerlain.
All images: Andre Kong.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail issue 765 December 2019 / January 2020