Welcome to David Jones’ new luxury menswear offer in Melbourne

’ve taken what works in Sydney, and really doubled down,” Chris Wilson, David Jones’ general manager of menswear, childrenswear and home, told Inside Retail.

“We know our customer really responds to our luxury assortment, so it was a natural move to elevate that experience and bring those brands in.” 

International luxury labels, such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Montblanc and Bally, and Australian suiting brand MJ Bale, are among the 20 new brands on offer in the store. 

Returning favourites include Calibre, Polo Ralph Lauren, MGSM, Saturdays NYC, Rag & Bone, Common Projects, Hugo Boss and Axel Arigato, but even these brands have been given a facelift. 

“We’ve got 31 bespoke fit-outs for brands, so it’s like you’re walking into Calibre on Chapel Street, it gives you that look and feel from a service proposition as well,” Wilson said. 

Personal shoppers and made-to-measure suits

Previously located in a separate building across the street from the women’s department, David Jones’ menswear offer in Melbourne is now on levels four and five of the main flagship store. 

The new offer is all about making the shopping experience easy for the customer. In the shoe section, for instance, additional sizes are kept in reserve in the middle of the floor, so staff can quickly bring customers different sizes to try on, and checkouts have been moved to more central locations. 

Dwell zones have been added to create space for activations throughout the year. For the launch, customers could watch a motorbike build demonstration from Deus Ex Machina, receive a wet shave, participate in a whiskey tasting and enjoy grazing platters. 

There are also personal shopping suites where customers can get complimentary advice from David Jones’ expert team of personal shoppers and stylists. 

“For a guy to be able to come in here and talk about what he likes,and what event he’s going to, it’s going to be a game-changer for the CBD in Melbourne,” Wilson said. 

Similarly, he believes made-to-measure suit brand InStitchu will be a big draw card to the store.   

“We’re seeing a return to the suiting category. We’ve been on this casual run for a few years, but we’re heading to more smart dressing,” he said.

While the revamp was largely modelled on the success of the Elizabeth Street store in Sydney, there have been some small design changes based on lessons learned. 

“We made sure that our fitting rooms were a little bit bigger, and that we put more mirrors in our fitting rooms,” Wilson said. 

“The only other significant change is that we have our men’s footwear offering split across two floors in Elizabeth Street, and we made sure that the journey was simpler in our Bourke Street store.”

An exciting time to be in menswear

David Jones has placed a strong emphasis on luxury in the redevelopment of its Bourke Street flagship, which could become an issue at a time of rising inflation. But Wilson isn’t concerned about the looming recession.

“Since we’ve been out of lockdowns, we’ve seen an absolute surge in people wanting to get out and about and update their wardrobe,” he said. 

“Obviously, as a business, you’re always conscious of what your customer responds to, but we work really hard with our brands to make sure that we’ve got the most compelling offer for our customer.”

Overall, he believes it’s an exciting time for menswear retailers. 

“In the last 10 years, menswear has really taken off. We’re seeing guys want to be more fashionable, and it’s only a good thing for the industry,” he said.

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