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David Jones to close Wellington store, launch online in New Zealand in 2022

Luxury department store chain David Jones is right-sizing its New Zealand offer after just four years in the country, confirming it will close its Wellington store in June 2022.

The department store’s in Newmarket will remain open, and the business said it will launch online in New Zealand in late 2022.

“As the retail sector continues to transform, including the accelerated shift to online, the optimisation of our retail network – through investment in our digital and physical channels, a focus on right-sizing and where necessary, consolidation of our physical footprint – is critical to meeting the changing needs of our customers,“ a David Jones spokesperson said.

“We sincerely thank our customers and our team for their support and commitment.”

Mid-2020 the business’ parent company, Woolworths Holdings, said it is in the process of reviewing the capital structure of its Australasian arm – which include David Jones’ and Country Road’s Australian and New Zealand operations – and discussions were underway to reduce its store network.

And while many segments of retail have seen a sales bounce-back after the initial shock of the pandemic, department stores still find themselves in a difficult spot – able to trade online with relative ease, but also offering a luxury shopping experience that can only be done in person.

David Jones has yet to launch its services online in New Zealand, but committed to doing so in the second half of 2022.

The department store recently revealed its sales during the 26 weeks to January 27 fell 8 per cent, impacted significantly by the 12-week lockdown in Melbourne.

Despite this, Woolworths Holdings expected an earnings per share bump of almost 80 per cent due to the sale of the iconic David Jones’ Bourke Street and Elizabeth Street stores.

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