David Jones’ Melbourne menswear store sold for $121m
South African department store chain Woolworths Holdings has sold the David Jones menswear store on Melbourne’s famed Bourke Street mall to funds manager Newmarket Capital in a $121m deal that could bolster the beaten-down sector.
City retailers have been battered by the lockdown in the Victorian capital and are struggling nationally as workers make a slow return to offices, with smaller businesses demanding rent relief and larger chains in dispute with landlords.
The coronavirus crisis has also shaken confidence in city retailer property, which has been pursued by big players including Scentre Group, owner of the local Westfield empire and which has a flagship store in Sydney. Vicinity Centres also has a heavy exposure to city assets, including Emporium Melbourne and Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building.
The shake-up has seen a new breed of buyers emerge who are willing to pour capital into ageing buildings, punting on hefty returns from luxury goods in a recovery.
Newmark’s purchase of the store at 299 Bourke Street is part of the trend.
CBRE’s Simon Rooney, head of retail capital markets, Pacific, negotiated the sale, alongside JACX Property, and said it was one of the most competitive retail campaigns for an asset of its size.