22/03/2018 - 15:47

David Jones makes a move in Mandurah

22/03/2018 - 15:47

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The growing spectre of online shopping has not deterred one of the country’s largest retailers from investing in its bricks-and-mortar assets, with David Jones opening its fifth Western Australian store today as part of the final chapter of Mandurah Forum’s $350 million redevelopment.

David Jones makes a move in Mandurah
David Jones opened its fifth WA store today at the newly redeveloped Mandurah Forum.

The growing spectre of online shopping has not deterred one of the country’s largest retailers from investing in its bricks-and-mortar assets, with David Jones opening its fifth Western Australian store today as part of the final chapter of Mandurah Forum’s $350 million redevelopment.

The Mandurah Forum overhaul has been in the works since 2016, with joint owners Vicinity Centres and ISPT significantly expanding its retail floor space. The centre’s tenant base has grown by almost 100 per cent to 200, anchored by international fast-fashion retailer H&M and (now) David Jones.

The facelift has also included the construction of an al fresco area, as well as children’s play areas. 

Opening its doors last Thursday, the revamped Mandurah Forum has jumped eight places, to sixth on the BNiQ Search Engine’s list of the state’s shopping centres ranked by size, with upgrade completions taking its net lettable area from 38,300 square metres to 64,000sqm.

While not putting a figure on its investment at the forum, David Jones chief executive David Thomas said the Mandurah store marked the debut of the business’s new contemporary look, which it planned to roll out across Perth.

“Mandurah is one of the strongest centres in the country at the moment without a department store presence,” Mr Thomas told Business News.

“So the opportunity to take an edited and curated version of what we do in a new format to consumers in that catchment was a very compelling opportunity for us.

“Retail has been through many different changes over centuries and I think bricks will still be a big part of retailing.

“We need to continue to invest in our stores but we also need to invest in online to have that great cross-channel opportunity. We see the combination of our bricks-and-clicks business being all powerful.”

Mr Thomas said contemporary store lighting, ceiling and floor detailing would underpin the new contemporary look across its 4,000sqm tenancy at Mandurah Forum.

The new store will also offer premium instore services including a dedicated concierge, personal styling and bookable beauty services. 

“I think the bar is being lifted for retail,” Mr Thomas said.

“If we can get the old-fashion fundamentals right of great service and great products, then the other elements we layer over (such as fitout) are really the cream on top.”

The company is set to open an additional store in WA later this year as part of Westfield Carousel’s $350 million redevelopment.

David Jones will also anchor Westfield’s planned shopping centre upgrades in Innaloo and Whitford City, which form part of the $5 billion worth of WA retail property developments currently under way or in the pipeline.

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