By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW:  Australia’s oldest department store is not letting fervent media attention get in the way of business, as it sticks to its strategic plan by expanding existing stores in lucrative locations.

David Jones last night announced its intention to enter into a new 20-year lease in its Toowong Store in south west Brisbane. The announcement came as red carpet party preparations gathered momentum for the retailer’s refurbished Bourke Street store in anticipation of tomorrow night’s soiree.

The new lease comes in conjunction with the landlord’s decision to upgrade the centre with a focus on a stronger fashion mix. David Jones proposes to fully refurbish and increase its sell space by more than 20 per cent allowing room for high margin, high value categories. The landlord will also be making a financial contribution towards the improvement.

Considering Toowong’s wealthy demographic the company predicts it can generate an increase in sales greater than the increase in space from the store, according to a statement released on the Australian Securities Exchange.

David Jones CEO Paul Zahra said, “Our decision to renew our lease at Toowong Village and to refurbish and expand our existing store is indicative of our commitment to expand our presence in high growth, high value areas.”

“The south west area of Brisbane is a region that we are focussed on expanding our presence and foothold in.”

Less than three weeks ago the retailer announced its intention to focus its efforts on northern Brisbane’s Chermside store.