Australian department chain David Jones will open its first store outside of Australia on the site occupied by Kirkcaldie & Stains, which has operated for 152 years.
“While many Wellingtonians may be sad to see the change of this historic retail name, the site will certainly remain a premium shopping experience,” says the Mayor.
“The international investment of $20 million into our Golden Mile, announced by David Jones, is very welcome in the Capital. I’m also heartened by the company’s pledge to offer employment to the majority of existing Kirk’s staff and hope that staff will be managed with the appropriate kindness through this uncertain time.
“Both international brands and local artisan retailers are important to the Wellington retail experience and sense of place,” she said.
Councillor Jo Coughlan, chair of the Economic Development Committee, says Council remained committed to the strength and vitality of Wellington’s retail sector.
“The addition of David Jones will add another attractive option to the retail mix and their decision is a vote of confidence in the Wellington CBD and the retail sector,” she says.
“David Jones is an international brand and offers and retail experience that many aspire to. Their decision to invest in Wellington’s key business district reinforces the evolution of retail in Wellington.
“This decision comes at a time when Wellington City Council and our agencies are striving to bring more economic activity to the Capital,” she says.
“We’ve just concluded the busiest cruise ship season in Wellington’s history and our targeted tourism campaigns are providing real dividends, and the year to March saw more than 2.17 million guest nights spent in Wellington city, which is the highest 12-month total on record.
“Electronic card spending on retail sales in the March quarter was up 1.7 percent but this only tells part of the story as underlying sales volumes are likely to have been strong due to decreases in fuel and some consumer goods prices during the quarter,” says Cr Coughlan.