Department store giant David Jones has announced the shock closure of one of its boutique stores after a horror 12 months for the retail industry.
The store on James Street, in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, only opened three years ago but will shut its doors permanently in June, the retailer announced on Tuesday.
It comes after the company’s owner, Woolworths Holdings, said in August it would begin ‘aggressively’ closing stores after profits fell by 42 per cent in the space of a year.
David Jones on James St, Fortitude Valley in Brisbane (pictured) had welcomed shoppers for only three years before it announced it’s doors would permanently shut in June
A David Jones spokesman said there would be no job losses in the wake of the Fortitude Valley closure, and stressed it was shutting up shop as part of a ‘retail network strategy’, The Courier Mail reported.
‘The optimisation of our retail network, through investment in flagship stores, right-sizing and where necessary, consolidation of our footprint, together with our enhanced online offering, is critical to meeting the changing needs and preferences of our customer,’ the spokesman said.
‘All team members offered redeployment to nearby stores including QueensPlaza.’
The store was first opened in March 2017 – with Jesinta Franklin staring at its glitzy opening – offering shoppers a variety of fashion wear including shoes and accessories.
The store was first opened in March, 2017, offering shoppers a variety of fashion wear including shoes and accessories. Jesinta Campbell is pictured at the opening of David Jones’ Fortitude Valley store with with Jackie Frank and Nicky Briger
The closure comes in the wake of a troublesome year for the department store.
After overall profits dropped from $64 million to $37 million during the 2018/2019 financial year, David Jones announced 20 per cent of its total floorspace would be cut by 2026.
The company is negotiating with landlords how it will downsize its 47 Australian stores across the country.
‘You have to create partnerships with some landlords and take a more aggressive stance with other landlords, but we are absolutely focused on getting our space down,’ said chief executive Ian Moir.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted David Jones for further comment.
Within the last year, Australia’s retail market has taken a dramatic hit with several popular stores collapsing across the country.
Curios Planet, previously known as the National Geographic store, announced it would close all 63 stores earlier this month after owing $15million in debt to toy sellers and publishers.
Household names like Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Roger David, and Napoleon Perdis dropped like files in the past year with dozens of stores closing and heavy job losses
The stores join a long list of Australian retailers to close down – including fashion retailer Bardot, homewares seller Harris Scarfe, wine sellers McWilliam’s Wines, make-up brand Napoleon Perdis, and menswear retailer Ed Harry.
Iconic clothing brand Jeanswest also went into voluntary administration earlier this month, leaving almost 1,000 employees at risk of losing their jobs.
High-end headphone giant Bose also collapsed, announcing it is closing 119 of its stores including all of its Australian outlets.
Australia is headed for a retail apocalypse that could even kill off Myer, which closed its store in Hornsby, Sydney, after 40 years of serving customers
Dropping like flies: Some of Australia’s recent retail casualties
2016: Dick Smith, Masters hardware, Payless Shoes
2017: Topshop Australia
2018: Avon, Espirit, Toys ‘R’ Us, Max Brenner, Roger David
2019: Diana Ferrari, Napoleon Perdis, Ziera, Harris Scarfe, Dimmeys, Karen Millen, Crinitis, Ed Harry
2020: Jeanswest, Bose, Curios Planet, Bardot, McWilliam’s Wines
The tech company said a ‘dramatic shift to online shopping’ was the main reason for the closures, but has not revealed how many jobs will be lost.
Myer closed its store in Hornsby, Sydney, after 40 years of serving customers.
Fashion retailer Karen Millen announced its closure in September in the wake of the collapse of the UK-based company.
Experts say a major reason behind the slow demise of Australian retail is online companies such as Amazon capitalising on stores whose products are easy to copy.
Bardot will close dozens of stores and put hundreds out of work as in enters administration. Pictured: Bardot at the Miss Myer Show Fashion Show
Last year, Chairman of Retail Doctor Group David Kindl said Amazon was ‘a definite threat to retailers like Kmart and Big W and Myer and all speciality stores’.
Legendary entrepreneur Dick Smith has also warned Amazon could eventually send spell the end of Australian retail stores.
Previously speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Smith said that internet companies had driven the retail disaster.
‘We will end up with just Amazon and Aldi and basically all the Aussie companies will be sent to bankruptcy,’ he said.
‘All those famous brands will go. Some of them might exist in name only but will be taken over by overseas companies.’
More than 170 stores are tipped to close this year.
Australian retail growth is at its worst level since the early 1990s recession.
The domino effect: 169 store closures in just 20 days sparks warning retailers are heading for a ‘notably bad year’ – and more could soon shut their doors
The huge number of stores closing in the first few weeks of the new year could have a knock-on effect as experts warn the worst is yet to come.
A whopping 169 stores have closed in two weeks and experts are now concerned that the collapse of the sector could affect landlords struggling to fill the vacant shops.
The first few weeks of 2020 have been devastating for the sector, with household names like Harris Scarfe, Jeanswest, Bardot, Roger David announcing closures.
A whopping 169 stores have closed in two weeks and experts are now concerned that the collapse of the sector could affect landlords struggling to fill the vacant shops
January administrations are not uncommon as stores often keep doors open over Christmas in a bid to stave off a potential collapse.
Analyst Lauren Berry told the Sydney Morning Herald it’s been a ‘notably bad year’ and things are likely to get worse.
Ms Berry said the ongoing shop closures are likely to start having a flow on effect for the real estate investment trusts like Stockland, Vicinity and Scentre (who own the Westfield Group).
She said it’s standard for lease negotiations to take place once administrations occur.
‘Therefore, even if the stores remain open, it’s likely that rents may be revised downwards to ensure viability,’ she said.
Bardot is among the 169 retailers that has announced it will cease operating in Australia after poor sales