David Jones has opened its first standalone food shop in South Yarra, Melbourne.
Convenient upmarket format
The 425 sq m store is part of the new Capitol Grand high-end residential and retail development on Chapel Street. This is an excellent location for David Jones to test its first store, with high footfall, plus lots of offices and young professionals living in the area. The store is aimed at providing convenient solutions for shoppers with a wide selection of prepared meals, an espesso bar, a pop up flower shop from The Plant Society, as well as fresh food and everyday grocery items. Around 60% of the range is private label, developed by Inspired Foods, the Australian arm of Interfood, South Africa’s leading food supplier.
Aiming to be the number one national premium food retailer
David Jones has not commented on how many standalone food stores it plans to open, but is clear that it wants to take the position as the number one and only upmarket or gourmet food retailer in the market. Pieter de Wet, David Jones’ managing director of food, commented that there is no one doing premium food retailing at scale or from a nationwide platform in Australia, equivilent to M&S and Waitrose in the UK or Wholefoods in the US, and this is the space that the retailer is trying to develop.
Growth expected from forecourt and standalone formats
David Jones anounced a AU$100m food strategy to expand its presence in Australia in 2017. Over the past two years it has opened enhanced foodhalls in its department stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. While in August it announced a partnership with BP to launch a new concept convenience store on petrol forecourts. While this new store in South Yarra is the third major development we have seen. Given the lack of department store foodhalls, David Jones will undoubtably look to expand its presence further in the coming years via the BP partnership and in appropriate standalone locations.