Having opened less than three years ago an Australian retail giant will close its first Queensland boutique store on popular high street.
Having opened less than three years ago an Australian retail giant will close its first Queensland boutique store on popular high street.

Iconic retailer shuts major store

A DEPARTMENT store giant will shut shop after almost three years in one of Brisbane's most successful high streets.

David Jones will close its James St boutique store in June.

A spokesman said the closure of the company's first boutique store in Queensland was in line with its "retail network strategy"

"The optimisation of our retail network, through investment in flagship stores, right-sizing and where necessary, consolidation of our footprint, together with our enhanced online offering, is critical to meeting the changing needs and preferences of our customer," he said.

"We look forward to welcoming Brisbane customers to our QueensPlaza CBD flagship, our new-concept Carindale store and other surrounding David Jones stores, as well as to davidjones.com."

In September the department store's owner, the South African-based Woolworths group, said it was going to "aggressively close stores" across its 47 Australian stores portfolio.

The 1400sq m store was opened in March 2017 in Fortitude Valley offering a mix of fashion, shoes and accessories targeted for up-market clientele.

The DJ's spokesman said there will be no job losses.

"All team members offered redeployment to nearby stores including QueensPlaza," he said.

Jesinta Franklin at the opening of David Jones store on James St, Fortitude Valley.
Jesinta Franklin at the opening of David Jones store on James St, Fortitude Valley.

Professor Gary Mortimer of the QUT Business School said the boutique store was near DJ's QueensPlaza store and perhaps its closure was a result of "a level of cannibalisation".

"If you want to attract that high-end consumer into that high-end CBD store in QueensPlaza then you don't particularly need one less than 4km from it," he said.

However, Prof Mortimer said in light of the challenges facing traditional department store the closure was still a surprise.

"They certainly indicated going forward that they were going to trial smaller format stores with curated range," he said.

"Full line traditional department stores have really lost their relevance in the Australian market.

"I genuinely thought a small format curated range store would have worked but apparently that's not working for them either."



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