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David Jones gets OIO approval to buy Kirkcaldies' store lease

Tuesday 5th January 2016

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Australian retailer David Jones is on track to open its first international store mid-year after gaining Overseas Investment Office approval to buy the lease for the Kirkcaldie & Stains department store in Wellington, New Zealand.

The OIO consent said the retailer, which is owned by Woolworths, would pay only $1 for the lease but planned to spend about $20 million refurbishing the Lambton Quay premises.

The deal was approved on the basis of adding to market competition and investment for development purposes.

Kirkcaldie & Stains shareholders voted in late July to sell the struggling brand and assign the store lease to David Jones in a deal worth A$400,000 with an option to purchase its fixed assets for A$500,000 that it didn't take up.

The move followed a seven-year period of losses for the struggling Wellington company.

David Jones chief executive Ian Nairn said at the time that it looked forward to bringing its “Next Generation” store concept to Wellington and offering kiwis an expanded range of brands.

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