Things didn't go our way at the Property Council awards this year, the accolade for ‘Best Team-Work’ example went to the cross-functional group that designed and built the fit out at David Jones' new Wellington department store. Fair play to that team as well, those Aussie retailers set a pretty high standard and you couldn’t miss the hype around opening day if you were here.
The fact that David Jones has chosen Wellington for the site of its first international store is a vote of confidence in the future of the New Zealand retail market, and that of Wellington’s economy and potential. This example is the latest in a steady stream of international stores to open here, and its success so far will mean that other retailers, particulary those in Australia, are paying close attention.
I apologise to the Kirkaldie & Stains faithful, but Wellington retail needed David Jones and David Jones have quickly come to realise that it needs Wellington. This is a significant move for the department store not to be underplayed, it marks their first international expansion in a 178-year history.
On opening day, 18,000 people walked through their doors, they’ve become a major CBD employer retaining the majority of Kirkaldie's staff and they’re batting above their average when compared to the 41 other stores David Jones has by trading at the top end.
So we came up against stiff competition at the awards this year and missed the official recognition we would have liked to get. We did however still manage to celebrate the teamwork, along with the Transport Agency, that got us there in the first place with a team that’s probably still getting to know each other. Seven new people have joined TPG Wellington since March all bringing with them their own skills, personalities and potential that will help us adjust to the demands of existing and new clients in the future.