David Jones has today reappointed Port Jackson Partners Limited as a strategic adviser to assist in evaluating “the synergies that can be extracted” from a merger of the famous department store with its archrival, Myer. The two grand old companies have been vacillating between merger and no merger since news first broke of a secret approach by Myer in October 2013.

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Management at David Jones is quick to point out that while it is continuing to investigate this merger, which seems to becoming more likely, it is continuing with the implementation of its strategic plan. This plans is largely based around improving customer service at store level, adding more and more exclusive brands, maximising its online and mobile sales through omnichannel growth and sponsoring horseracing carnivals.

“It is imperative that we undertake this initial strategic work prior to commencing discussions with Myer,” said DJs chairman Gordon Cairns. “It will enable us to have a full understanding of the value that can be delivered to our shareholders if David Jones were to merge with Myer, versus the value that can reasonably be expected to be delivered to our shareholders if the company continues with its future strategic direction plan on a standalone basis.”

Meanwhile, Leigh Clapham has resigned from his position as a non-executive director of the company. Cairns thanks Clapham for his 15 months of service.