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  • PRINITHA GOVENDER

David Jones, a Frontrunner in Cultural Diversity

Updated: Nov 23, 2018

I have always considered David Jones to be a front runner when it comes to positive social change in Australian retail. David Jones has unveiled Level 7, a designer shoe haven that sets the benchmark for customer service experience as well as embracing cultural diversity.

The “7th Floor” of David Jones flagship store in Sydney will now be synonymous with “5th Avenue”, when it comes to Australian luxury shoes that is. In an Australian first, shoppers will now be able to experience luxury fashion houses including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roger Vivier and Christian Louboutin, all under the one roof.


David Jones unveiled “Level 7” to consumers on Friday, its highly anticipated luxury shoe floor, part of the retailer’s $400 million redevelopment of its Elizabeth Street store. These designer brands will each have bespoke boutiques on the once 7th floor ballroom, which will reside along a curated selection of the world’s most premium fashion labels including, Jimmy Choo, Balmain, Balenciaga, Bally, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Gianvito Rossi, Sergio Rossi and Aquazzura.


An overlooking champagne bar compliments the decedent shoe bar experience for customers looking to dip their toes, or entire feet in this case, in an ultimate luxury retail experience, which comes complete with a footwear concierge. Its newly refurbished bridal salon and gift registry will also be located on the 7th floor.

David Jones is luring the customer back into the store, and rightly so.

David Jones is certainly setting the benchmark when it comes to department store luxury retailing in Australia. With its exclusive premium brand partnerships, extensive product knowledge and its efforts in providing premium customer service, it’s luring the customer back into the store, and rightly so.


“A key element of his project has been the recruitment of talented specialists that are passionate about the brands, passionate about the product, and passionate about our customers,” says David Thomas, David Jones chief executive officer.

More than 85% of DJs shoe team are bilingual and between them speak 19 languages and represent over 20 countries.

“We have over 50 team members for our new luxury shoe floor comprising of luxury footwear experts and a number of new employees that have worked in leading speciality footwear and retail businesses, both locally and internationally. More than 85 percent of our shoe team are bilingual and between them speak 19 languages and represent over 20 countries.”

David Jones is front runner in retail when it comes to embracing cultural diversity.

Who can argue with that - a culturally friendly shopping heaven that caters for the diversity that is the fabric of Australian culture. I have always considered David Jones to be a front runner when it comes to the topic of embracing cultural diversity in Australia and I feel it has led the way in local retail when it comes to its marketing and positive social change in this area.


You only need to take a look at the department chain's list of ambassadors. Back in 2001, a very exotic looking Megan Gale was appointed as David Jones ambassador, which she maintained for 13 years. Then in 2013, Portugese-Chinese model Jessica Gomes took the spotlight as David Jones female ambassador.


In 2015, indigenous Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes was announced as the newest David Jones brand ambassador, which was initially received with a flood of abuse and racist posts on social media, including a barrage of boos and remarks about Indigenous Australians.


But, David Jones stuck strong with its decision and following the hate mail the department chain reaffirmed its support of the double Brownlow medalist. "David Jones is proud to have Adam Goodes, a powerful and inspirational Australian, join its family of ambassadors," a David Jones spokeswoman told the media following amidst the backlash.


By the end of that day, there seemed to be more public support of Goodes than hatred . "We (David Jones) have received significant positive feedback from our staff, customers, vendors and other stakeholders regarding Adam's appointment and our latest brand campaign." By that afternoon, the retailer’s Facebook Page resembled the same story with a flood of messages of support for Goodes. The indigenous AFL star has also played an active role in advising the retailer of reconciliation issues in relation to its corporate social responsibility program.

Embracing cultural diversity is a core element when it comes to appealing to millennials today.

On that note, in the last five months I been increasingly noting the image of diversity being played out in Australian retailers’ social media and marketing campaigns and on TV and mainstream media for that matter. Retail brands like Sportsgirl, Target, Kikki.K, Mimco, Stylerunner, Mon Purse, Dion Lee, Country Road, Bardot, General Pants, Kookai and many more are weaving more diverse faces and ethnicity into its campaigns, while I see little or no signs of this with other retailers who perhaps haven’t quite caught on or simply don’t want to.

Failure to project cultural diversity in your branding is failing to future proof your business.

Embracing cultural diversity is a core element when it comes to appealing to millennials today as is having a social conscious that extends to the messages that brands put out. Failure to project this in your branding is failing to future proof your business when it comes to our current and future shoppers.


Kudos to David Jones for setting the bar high in providing a premium customer service for Australia, which let’s face it, is ripe for this kind of offering, and for standing for more than just a retail store by having a positive impact on social change. David Jones is leading the way with its head held high.


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