Barangaroo is the largest urban renewal project seen in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics and when completed in 2024, tipped to become Australia’s premier financial and professional service centre (with a whopping 50,000 workers, residents and visitors expected daily). David Jones recently opened up a new small-format concept store in the precinct, so we went to check it out.
The store is DJ’s first ever small format store and unlike it’s traditional department stores, the store is 1,400 square meters over two floors. To put this in perspective, an average David Jones department store is roughly ten times this size. Designed with a flexible store format to cater to “inner-city” workers and residents, the store provides a limited fashion collection across apparel and beauty, a café, concierge service, personalised styling, VIP shopping rooms and “click and collect” shopping (sourced from DJ’s larger stores).
It’s an interesting move for the retailer and one example of many large-scale retailers trialling smaller-sized boutique stores. In the past few years we’ve seen the likes of retailers such as Bunnings, Woolworths and Ikea open smaller based stores in metro-based locations; and based off continued urban growth in Australia (last year 76% of Australia’s growth was attributable to just 4 cities), we expect this trend to continue into the future. These small format stores cater to more younger inner-city consumers, who are often affluent yet time-poor and seek greater convenience. Furthermore with the closure of their Elizabeth street store in 2018/2019 for a $200m renovation, the new smaller store could be a strategy to ensure David Jones continue to have a footprint in the Sydney market.