David Jones opens in former Myer site at Burwood Westfield

By Sarah Falson

BURWOOD: David Jones CEO, Mark McInnes, is confident his new store in Sydney’s inner western suburb of Burwood will significantly exceed the $43 million its rival, Myer, made in a year on the same site before it demerged from the Coles Group.

“I think the demography [of the area] is far more David Jones than Myer,” McInnes told The Australian Financial Review in an article published today.

“It’s the fastest growing affluent area, almost, in Sydney. It encompasses suburbs like Haberfield, Drummoyne and Strathfield, and those suburbs – it you look at their housing growth they’ve had some of the fastest growth in wealth in Sydney in the last 10 years.”

The shopping centre which houses the store, Westfield Burwood, recently signed on for another 17 years at the location, and hopes to raise the bar of the development, according to the report.

The shopping centre giant kicked Myer out after the department store was bought from Coles Myer (not the Coles Group) for $1.4 billion by US private equity group, Newbridge Capital.

The new David Jones store will open tomorrow following a three-week long fit-out that cost the retailer and certain of its suppliers approximately $5 million.

“If currently Myer are doing mid $40 million [in sales] and we expect to significantly improve on that over time that’s the size of the opportunity,” McInnes said.

“It’s probably going to be on a better growth curve than most of our stores simply because of the changing demography and the fact that it’s a single department store centre.”

The 14,500 square metre store is bigger than most of David Jones’ other stores, and the retailer has reportedly negotiated another five or six sites across Australia for the period from 2009 to 2012.

Westfield Burwood is also home to newly-signed premium clothing retailers JAG and Sportscraft, along with discount stores and mobile phone outlets.

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