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DJs moving HQ to Melbourne

David Jones, DJs, department storeWoolworths Holdings Limited (WHL), owner of David Jones has today announced it is shifting the department store’s head office from Sydney to Melbourne.

The head offices of David Jones and Country Road Group, including Country Road, Trenery, Witchery and Mimco, will be re-located to a new WHL corporate HQ in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond.

David Jones’ corporate head office and support centre will re-locate from Sydney’s CBD in ‘several steps’ with the full move to be completed by mid 2018. CRG head office will complete the move from its current Richmond location to the WHL corporate HQ by the end of 2018, when its current lease expires.

“This exercise is not about reducing headcount and saving employment costs. Not only will the current complement of David Jones staff remain the same, it will grow in future as the business expands,” said Ian Moir, chief executive, WHL.

WHL said the sale of its Market Street property in Sydney’s CBD is “progressing well,” and declared its intent to spend up to AUD $200 million on the redevelopment of its Elizabeth Street store. WHL will create a 39,000m2 luxury department store spanning 11 levels in the heart of Sydney’s CBD retail precinct.

WHL said it had carefully considered the location of its Australasian corporate head office including the completion of a detailed strategic and operational review.

Melbourne was selected following an evaluation of the local retail industry, long term costs, development opportunities, talent pool, and proximity to other WHL assets including the Group’s distribution assets at Truganina.

“WHL is a leading Southern Hemisphere retailer and has significant plans for growth in the Australasian market in the years ahead,” said Moir. “The creation of a centre of retail excellence and a singular operational hub is an important step that will achieve substantial financial, operational and synergy benefits.”

WHL said David Jones employees moving to Melbourne would be provided with a “generous relocation package and full agency support.”

Following completion of the move there will be approximately 600 David Jones employees and 680 Country Road Group employees at the WHL Australasian head office. WHL expects that its Australasian head office team will increase to 1500 employees.

Inside Retail has contacted David Jones for further comment.

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