By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Owning your own premises, a superior brand range and loyal customers are the keys to maintaining margins and delivering profits, according to David Jones CEO Mark McInnes.

Speaking shortly after the department store retailer announced a jump of more than 10 per cent in its first half earnings, McInnes outlined the reasons why David Jones has been able to emerge so briskly from the global financial crisis.

He said the foundations of David Jones’ first half profit of just over $100 million was the group’s “loyal customer base”, which he said covered three generations of women, grandmother, mother and daughter. Despite David Jones stocking some of the most sought after men’s brands, including Ben Sherman, Ralph Lauren and Nautica, male custom was not recognised so readily.

Other secrets of success for David Jones include “a strong service heritage and ethic”, “the best national and international brands portfolio”, strong cashflow, an association with American Express, and ownership of the group’s two flagship stores, in Sydney and Melbourne.

Considering that all these ingredients to success can be replicated in the dedicated appliance industry, David Jones’ success could become a benchmark for future growth.

In other David Jones news, the new stores in Kotara, near Newcastle in New South Wales, and Claremont, in Perth in Western Australia, are expected to be open in November 2010 and March 2011 respectively.