David Jones to Shut Down Luxurious Fortitude Valley Store

David Jones has confirmed it is closing its store in Fortitude Valley. Three years since it opened on James Street, the upscale department store will be shutting down in June 2020. 

The site is the first David Jones to close in Queensland. However, a spokesperson said that this decision is in line with its “retail network strategy.” 

The department store is optimising its operations as the needs and preferences of customers change.  The company insisted that it is still doing OK. 

With the impending shutdown, David Jones Fortitude Valley staff will not lose their jobs. Many of the team members have been redeployed at nearby outlets, including the biggest outlet in Brisbane at the Queens Plaza. This store is located some 5-kilometres away from the James Street site. 

“We look forward to welcoming Brisbane customers to our QueensPlaza CBD flagship, our new-concept Carindale store and other surrounding David Jones stores as well as to davidjones.com,” the spokesperson said.

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In August 2019, the department store’s owner Woolworths Holdings said, through its representatives, that it will be “aggressively” shutting down its physical stores as profits from these stores declined by 42 percent. In contrast, online sales during the second half of 2019 jumped by 61.8 percent, representing 10.4 percent of total sales. 

Meanwhile, the outlet in Elizabeth Street in Brisbane City has also successfully contributed to last year’s sales. The site has undergone a massive nine-storey refurbishment, which is due for completion this March.

David Jones Weathers Speculations About Fortitude Valley Operations

Australian upscale department store David Jones signed a long-term lease to deliver a unique shopping experience in one of the Fortitude Valley’s best shopping strips. However, as Australia is under a retail recession, David Jones has reportedly struggled to grow its revenue two years since opening on 10 James Street.

David Jones has gone through its second writedown since 2018, as South African owner Woolworths Holdings Limited witnessed its value shrink from its $2.1-B acquisition in 2014 to just $965 million. The writedown does not bode well for the beleaguered retail giant, particularly in light of Australia’s retail recession.

Speculations are rife that the company is “recalibrating operations” at its Fortitude Valley store, although the company has not made any comments on such reports.

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David Jones opened its Fortitude Valley store with high hopes of delivering a very different shopping experience in a vital precinct.

A spokesperson from Woolworths said that operationally, their strategic initiative is to position the store as the “retail environment of the future.”

Iconic T.C. Beirne Co. in Fortitude Valley Reopens

Following its remarkable restoration, T.C. Beirne & Co. in Fortitude Valley will open its doors once again on October 2018.

The revitalisation of the heritage-listed building on Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley includes the return of the famous T.C. Beirne signage on one of Brisbane’s most historic buildings.

Joint venture partner David Mann said the T.C. Beirne department store, built in 1902, underwent several expansions over the years and still remains a household name in Brisbane.

David Mann Photo Credit : Supplied

“For decades people knew T.C. Beirne & Co. as the place to shop for fashion,”  Mr Mann said.

“Now returned to its former glory, the heritage listed T.C. Beirne & Co. is bringing premium dining and retail back to the heart of The Valley,” he added.

History of T.C. Beirne & Co.

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Irish retailer, Thomas Charles Beirne was the founder and director of the T.C. Beirne department stores. He became one of Queensland’s wealthiest businessmen and remained active in the business right up until his death in 1949.

In 1956, T.C. Beirne & Co. in Fortitude Valley was sold to David Jones who continued to trade before closing in 1973.

The iconic building located at the heart of Fortitude Valley was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 29 April 2003.

T.C. Beirne & Co. Restoration

The building’s historic features such as the Brunswick and Duncan Street façades and exposed original columns as well as the striking glass atrium have been magnificently showcased by award-winning design studio Hassell.

Photo Credit : Supplied

The contemporary ground floor, designed by Buchan Group architects, creates inviting linkages between the Brunswick and Duncan Street Malls.

Photo Credit : Supplied

Set to open in October 2018, this much-anticipated retail space has already attracted major dining and leisure tenants including the Beirne Lane bar and restaurant and Brisbane’s first B. Lucky & Sons delivering a complete entertainment experience.

Photo Credit : Supplied

Furthermore, 11,000 sqm of the upper-level commercial space is already open for business and is now home to a number of leading tech and innovation tenants including Croomo, Clui, Genie Solutions along with the State Government’s The Precinct innovation hub.