David Jones Wellington launches rebuild, recruitment

David-Jones_EmporiumJust days after closing the doors of Wellington’s Kirkcaldie and Stains department store, new parent David Jones is preparing the way for a complete repositioning in the market.

The South African parent of the Australian-headquartered department store is investing about $20 million in completely refurbishing the historic store building. When complete, the David Jones Wellington store is likely to resemble one of the more up-market of the company’s network across the Tasman, with a strong focus on beauty products and fragrances, and most likely a foodhall befitting a department store in a capital city.

David Jones has commenced advertising for staff seeking a career with the company.

“Join us as we lift the curtain on our first international store in the heart of Wellington at Lambton Quay. This is your chance to become a retail leader in a premium department store that nurtures the limitless potential in its people,” the company says in its large format recruitment advertisements.

“We are seeking highly motivated and driven leaders who have the ability to inspire our customers and employees.”

David Jones is recruiting candidates for management roles in store operations, sales, visual merchandising, stock management, loss prevention and logistics.

Kirkcaldies and Stains traded in Wellington for 152 years, latterly as a listed public company.

It is unlikely that David Jones would limit its New Zealand presence to a single store, so some retail industry commentators are waiting to see if the South Africans make a bid for department stores in Auckland and Christchurch for similar revamps – or seeks space in existing shopping centres.

Based on their Australian operations, there is potentially room for three to five stores in Auckland and one or two in Christchurch. No other urban area in New Zealand is likely to have sufficient catchment to justify a full scale department store.

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