David Jones plans Capitol Grand, South Yarra food store

David Jones plans Capitol Grand, South Yarra food store
David Jones plans Capitol Grand, South Yarra food store

David Jones is pressing ahead with its first stand-alone gourmet food store under its new owner, South African retailer Woolworths Holdings.

It has plans to open in the up-market Capitol Grand retail arcade development on the Chapel Street and Torook Road, South Yarra corner.

Its scheduled opening is in 2019.

The Capitol Grand store will be about 500 square metres. Larry Kestelman, with financial backing from the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, is currently constructing the $700 million Capitol Grand luxury high-rise tower. Over 75 per cent of the 500 apartments across the two towers have been sold with about 80 per cent of purchasers owner-occupiers. One-bedroom apartments in the LK Property Group development start at $700,000.

David Jones will also open a food hall in its suburban Malvern store in Melbourne in March.

It plans to spend at least $100 million over three years building a retail food business, restoring its reputation for gourmet food, differentiating the department store from rival Myer and also protecting sales from new competitors such as Amazon.

The strategy includes building a new food hall in the flagship Elizabeth Street store to replace its Market Street store in Sydney.

Most of the products, including 90% of the store's fresh food offering, will carry the new David Jones Food brand, which was launched last year.

David Jones chief executive David Thomas hopes the new proposition will resonate strongly with the local customer.

The Insider Retail website reported David Jones said that the new store format store was designed with an emphasis on fresh premium produce including pre-packed meat and seafood, and a comprehensive convenience selection comprised of pre-prepared vegetables, salads and fruit as well as innovative, restaurant-quality ready meals.

Most of the fresh produce and ready-made meals will be supplied by In2Food, a South African-based company which is the largest food supplier to Woolworths Holdings.

Last week Woolworths cut the value of David Jones by $712 million - around 34% - citing poor execution of its previously announced turnaround plans along with emerging structural changes in retailing.

South Yarra David Jones

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