How David Jones plans to expand its premium food business

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 28th June 2017

Image Credit: Landini Associates

David Jones has confirmed it will be opening a series of new food halls focused on providing premium food offerings to Australians.

With the stores set to offer dine-in experiences, along with premium grocery items for sale, David Jones will commit AUD $100 million to the project over the next three years.

David Jones previously attempted to venture into premium grocery retailing, establishing the Foodchain in 2000, before closing it by 2003 after the concept failed to take off.

John Dixon, Chief Executive Officer of David Jones, however said customers today are increasingly telling David Jones that they view retail as a leisure activity and a “place to meet”.

“Food drives footfall, it drives a greater frequency of shop and increases dwell time,” Dixon said.

“Strategically food is going to play a very important role in terms of how we can differentiate ourselves from other retailers, it’s also something the online pure-plays can’t do. Food and fashion will be a very strong combination for our customers in the future,” he said.

“There isn’t really anybody occupying the premium end of the market”

Dixon said that the David Jones Food Halls would attempt to fill the gap in premium food and grocery retailing within Australia.

“When people are focused on price they tend to cut corners and compromise on quality and we are at the entirely opposite end of that,” Dixon said.

‘‘We have looked at all the best food outlets in the world including Eataly, La Place in Holland and Marks & Spencer, and wrapped them all up in our new offerings,’’ he said.

Not another supermarket

David Jones says its new venture is not a supermarket, but rather its own unique offering which will support Australian food suppliers.

“We want to support Australian suppliers and choose Australian-sourced first,” Dixon said.

“The only time we will not do that is if the item doesn’t exist in this market or if it’s an authentic, unique product from overseas,” he said.

David Jones’ big food move – key facts

  • AUD $100 million investment in three years
  • Team of 50+ food buyers, developers and technologists to work on the project
  • Introduction of premium food brand ‘David Jones Food’
  • 70% of product in the food halls will eventually be David Jones Food brand
  • First location opening at Bondi Junction 3 August 2017
  • New Food Hall to be added to David Jones’ Market Street Sydney store with work to finish in 2019
  • Bourke Street Melbourne’s Food Hall will be upgraded over the next six months
  • A new food hall will be opened at David Jones in Wollongong, New South Wales, in October 2017
  • David Jones is currently assessing further locations in existing stores and standalone locations


Related articles