David Jones launches new food strategy in Melbourne

DAVID_JONES_FOOD_LAUNCH_MALVERN_CENTRALDavid Jones has launched its new food concept offer in Victoria at AMP Capital-owned Malvern Central Shopping Centre.

Part of its $100m food strategy that kicked off last year, DJs food offering is sourced and developed by a team of 60 specialist food engineers and includes best-in-class products across categories including meat and poultry, prepared and semi-prepared fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, quality to-go meals, pantry items, confectionary and wine.

According to IBISWorld data, the grocery industry is expected to grow by 2.2 per cent in 2017-18, largely due to rising demand for premium food products, such as organic fruit and vegetables.

“We are seeing a growing trend globally and here in Australia of food becoming a key driver for shoppers,” Mark Kirkland, managing director, AMP Capital Shopping Centres told Inside Retail.

“Shopping Centres are as much a place for social gathering as they are places of commerce and we know from our research, the desire for human connection continues to be a driver for visitation, which is why our food offering remains a key focus.”

AMP’s latest industry report found that both locally and globally, shopping centres are shifting from being transactional environments to destinations that provide shoppers with opportunities to relax, socialise and dine.

The research indicates that 82 per cent of shoppers would spend as much or more on food experiences that were designed to provide opportunities to relax. Over 50 per cent of shoppers aged between 18-29 years old wanted to see things like rooftop bars and in-centre dining introduced in shopping centres, which AMP said further highlights that consumers are increasingly looking to shopping centres as lifestyle and entertainment destinations.

“Customers are seeking balanced, high quality food offers and Malvern is a great example of this, with the addition of not only the latest David Jones Food Hall concept, but also Peter Bouchier, Roll’d and Naked Foods,” said Kirkland.

“Over the last few years, food spend has significantly outperformed non-food/discretionary spend across the country, and we would expect this to continue in the short to medium-term.

“I expect this trend to continue and as our research supports, I believe that we will continue to see food services and experiential retail playing a larger role in the evolution of retail going forward.”

DAVID_JONES_FOOD_MALVERN_CENTRAL

A place for all 

Commenting more broadly on whether department stores within shopping centre tenancy mixes, are better off holding smaller footprints given the difficulties faced by the sector, Kirkland said there isn’t a one-size-fits-all response and that each individual shopping centre looks to have the appropriate mix and size of retailers to suit each community.

“AMP Capital prides itself on understanding our local communities and therefore create bespoke places and experiences that inspire people to connect and resonate to the local communities in which they serve,” he said.

“By that same token our retailers are critical in this and we are committed to partnering with them to create destinations that are at the heart of our communities. Ultimately, we see that there is a place to play for all kinds of retailers across our portfolio, from small to large scale.”

AMP will also ramp up its food offering at Marrickville Metro in Sydney, adding a total of approximately 11,000 square metres due to be completed in 2020, plus Brickworks Centre in Southport on the Gold Coast and Gasworks Plaza in Brisbane.

Earlier this year, David Jones announced it will open its first standalone David Jones Food store in Melbourne when it unveils its premium convenience format in the Capitol Grand South Yarra in 2019.

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