Australia’s first David Jones boutique store shows no signs of reopening almost two years after it closed its doors amid the first wave of Covid-19.

Shelves at the Barangaroo outlet in Sydney have been stripped of products, display cases are empty and screens block most of the windows.

Site manager Lendlease is ‘in discussions’ with the iconic retailer but signs state the store in the high-end shopping precinct is only temporarily closed.

When Daily Mail Australia visited the store in May, the shopfront was still filled with unsold cosmetics, handbags, women’s shoes and designer clothing. 

Apart from a few shelves of stock at the Chanel counter, all of that is now gone. 

Australia's first David Jones boutique store closed in March 2020 due to Covid-19 and has not reopened. The store at the Barangaroo on the edge of Sydney's central business district opened in November 2016 (pictured) to fanfare

Australia's first David Jones boutique store closed in March 2020 due to Covid-19 and has not reopened. The store at the Barangaroo on the edge of Sydney's central business district opened in November 2016 (pictured) to fanfare

Australia’s first David Jones boutique store closed in March 2020 due to Covid-19 and has not reopened. The store at the Barangaroo on the edge of Sydney’s central business district opened in November 2016 (pictured) to fanfare

Shelves at the David Jones Barangaroo outlet in Sydney have been stripped of products, display cases are empty and screens block most of the windows. Site manager Lendlease is 'in discussions' with the iconic retailer but signs state the store is only temporarily closed

Shelves at the David Jones Barangaroo outlet in Sydney have been stripped of products, display cases are empty and screens block most of the windows. Site manager Lendlease is 'in discussions' with the iconic retailer but signs state the store is only temporarily closed

Shelves at the David Jones Barangaroo outlet in Sydney have been stripped of products, display cases are empty and screens block most of the windows. Site manager Lendlease is ‘in discussions’ with the iconic retailer but signs state the store is only temporarily closed

When Daily Mail Australia visited the store in May (pictured), the shopfront was still filled with unsold cosmetics, handbags and women's shoes and mannequins were dressed in clothing. Apart from a few shelves of stock at the Chanel counter, all of that is now gone

When Daily Mail Australia visited the store in May (pictured), the shopfront was still filled with unsold cosmetics, handbags and women's shoes and mannequins were dressed in clothing. Apart from a few shelves of stock at the Chanel counter, all of that is now gone

When Daily Mail Australia visited the store in May (pictured), the shopfront was still filled with unsold cosmetics, handbags and women’s shoes and mannequins were dressed in clothing. Apart from a few shelves of stock at the Chanel counter, all of that is now gone 

The store on the north-western edge of Sydney’s central business district is one of only three retailers to remain shut at Barangaroo. 

It was supposed to cater for office workers in the revitalised business and entertainment quarter but not a single customer has walked its aisles since March 2020.

While workers had begun returning to the neighbourhood’s high-rise buildings and tourists were coming back into the city before the latest Covid outbreak, there was no sign of life on Wednesday within the Barangaroo David Jones. 

Covid might have deterred many customers from attending the traditional post-Christmas sales but the National Retail Association is still expecting consumers to spend $2.9billion in stores and $1.2billion online.

The David Jones store on the north-western edge of Sydney's central business district is one of only three retailers to remain shut at Barangaroo. It was supposed to cater for office workers in the revitalised business and entertainment quarter

The David Jones store on the north-western edge of Sydney's central business district is one of only three retailers to remain shut at Barangaroo. It was supposed to cater for office workers in the revitalised business and entertainment quarter

The David Jones store on the north-western edge of Sydney’s central business district is one of only three retailers to remain shut at Barangaroo. It was supposed to cater for office workers in the revitalised business and entertainment quarter

While workers had begun returning to the neighbourhood's high-rise buildings and tourists were coming back into the city before the latest Covid outbreak, there was no sign of life on Wednesday within the Barangaroo David Jones (pictured)

While workers had begun returning to the neighbourhood's high-rise buildings and tourists were coming back into the city before the latest Covid outbreak, there was no sign of life on Wednesday within the Barangaroo David Jones (pictured)

While workers had begun returning to the neighbourhood’s high-rise buildings and tourists were coming back into the city before the latest Covid outbreak, there was no sign of life on Wednesday within the Barangaroo David Jones (pictured)

David Jones at Barangaroo  was designed to cater for office workers in the new precinct but not a single customer has passed through its doors for almost two years. A sign in the shop window is pictured in May

David Jones at Barangaroo  was designed to cater for office workers in the new precinct but not a single customer has passed through its doors for almost two years. A sign in the shop window is pictured in May

David Jones at Barangaroo  was designed to cater for office workers in the new precinct but not a single customer has passed through its doors for almost two years. A sign in the shop window is pictured in May

Daily Mail Australia asked a spokeswoman for David Jones if there were plans to re-open the Barangaroo store and if factors other than the pandemic were keeping the doors bolted.

‘David Jones Barangaroo was closed in late March 2020 to best protect the health and safety of our team members and customers throughout the Covid-19 crisis,’ the spokeswoman said. 

‘At this time the Barangaroo business precinct remains impacted by fewer office workers and commuters visiting and working in the area; we will continue to monitor the situation regarding timing for the reopening of this store.’

A further inquiry about whether David Jones could guarantee the Barangaroo store would eventually reopen did not receive a response. 

Daily Mail Australia asked a spokeswoman for David Jones if there were plans to reopen the Barangaroo store and if factors other than the pandemic were keeping the doors bolted. The spokeswoman did not guarantee the store would reopen

Daily Mail Australia asked a spokeswoman for David Jones if there were plans to reopen the Barangaroo store and if factors other than the pandemic were keeping the doors bolted. The spokeswoman did not guarantee the store would reopen

Daily Mail Australia asked a spokeswoman for David Jones if there were plans to reopen the Barangaroo store and if factors other than the pandemic were keeping the doors bolted. The spokeswoman did not guarantee the store would reopen

'David Jones Barangaroo was closed in late March 2020 to best protect the health and safety of our team members and customers throughout the Covid-19 crisis,' a spokeswoman for the department store told Daily Mail Australia. The Barangaroo store is pictured on Wednesday

'David Jones Barangaroo was closed in late March 2020 to best protect the health and safety of our team members and customers throughout the Covid-19 crisis,' a spokeswoman for the department store told Daily Mail Australia. The Barangaroo store is pictured on Wednesday

‘David Jones Barangaroo was closed in late March 2020 to best protect the health and safety of our team members and customers throughout the Covid-19 crisis,’ a spokeswoman for the department store told Daily Mail Australia. The Barangaroo store is pictured on Wednesday

The Barangaroo outlet opened in November 2016 and was David Jones’ first attempt at a smaller, boutique Australian department store. 

A second boutique outlet opened in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in March 2017 but the company announced in January 2020 that as part of its ‘retail network strategy’ the store would close.

The original Barangaroo store opened ahead of most of the surrounding office tenants moving into the area.  

It was focused on men’s and women’s fashion, beauty products and services, with a product line tailored to inner-city customers who lived nearby or wanted to shop during or after work.

A reduced range was offered in a space of about 1,400 square metres, one tenth of the size of a normal big city David Jones department store.

'David Jones Barangaroo is the one stop shop for all of your ladies and men's fashion needs,' the business still states on its website. The  November 2016 opening is pictured

'David Jones Barangaroo is the one stop shop for all of your ladies and men's fashion needs,' the business still states on its website. The  November 2016 opening is pictured

‘David Jones Barangaroo is the one stop shop for all of your ladies and men’s fashion needs,’ the business still states on its website. The  November 2016 opening is pictured

Model Jessica Gomes was on hand for the Barangaroo opening in November 2016

Model Jessica Gomes was on hand for the Barangaroo opening in November 2016

Jesinta Campbell (now Franklin) poses outside the new David Jones store at Barangaroo

Jesinta Campbell (now Franklin) poses outside the new David Jones store at Barangaroo

Models Jessica Gomes (left) and Jesinta Campbell are pictured posing outside David Jones at Barangaroo at the store’s official opening on November 3, 2016

Shoppers could also collect online orders through the David Jones click and collect service. Customers are now directed to go online or visit the flagship Elizabeth Street store.

Models Jesinta Franklin (then Campbell) and Jessica Gomes were joined by television presenter Jason Dundas when the opening ribbon was cut amid great hopes for the new face of retail.

‘David Jones Barangaroo is the one stop shop for all of your ladies and men’s fashion needs,’ the business still states on its website. 

‘From international favourites like Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein to classic Australian brands, you’ll find all your sartorial must haves under one roof when you head to David Jones.

‘Our concept store offers a finely selected mix of offerings from the best named brands across clothing, footwear and accessories, bringing high quality fashion to the streets of Barangaroo.

'At this time the Barangaroo business precinct remains impacted by fewer office workers and commuters visiting and working in the area; we will continue to monitor the situation regarding timing for the reopening of this store,' a David Jones spokeswoman said

'At this time the Barangaroo business precinct remains impacted by fewer office workers and commuters visiting and working in the area; we will continue to monitor the situation regarding timing for the reopening of this store,' a David Jones spokeswoman said

‘At this time the Barangaroo business precinct remains impacted by fewer office workers and commuters visiting and working in the area; we will continue to monitor the situation regarding timing for the reopening of this store,’ a David Jones spokeswoman said

‘You’ll also be able to benefit from our amazing in-store services, with lingerie fitting and gift wrapping services both available.

‘Located, number 300 Barangaroo Avenue, getting to our newest and chicest store couldn’t be easier, with public transport stops, the Darling Harbour Wharf and Barangaroo South Interchange just a short walk away.’

Upon Barangaroo’s opening David Jones’s then chief executive John Dixon described the new boutique stores as an ‘evolution’ of the company’s business model.

‘The store looks fantastic and it is interesting when you hear customers talking about the edit of products and also customers who are time-precious actually finding it an easier shopping experience,’ he said at the time.

Mr Dixon had been tasked with turning around the department store chain but 18 months after Barangaroo opened was himself shown the door.

The New South Wales government had forecast 12 million people a year would come to Barangaroo, attracted by its office towers, restaurants, apartments and parkland.

A Lendlease spokeswoman said the construction and property giant was in discussions with David Jones about the site, as it had continued to support all retailers. The empty store is pictured on Monday

A Lendlease spokeswoman said the construction and property giant was in discussions with David Jones about the site, as it had continued to support all retailers. The empty store is pictured on Monday

A Lendlease spokeswoman said the construction and property giant was in discussions with David Jones about the site, as it had continued to support all retailers. The empty store is pictured on Monday 

Corporate tenants including Westpac, investment bank HSBC and accounting firms PwC and KPMG sent their employees home at the start of the Covid-19 epidemic and some workers were yet to return.

There had been reduced demand for department store wares in the area with so many near-empty office floors and while international borders remained closed. 

Several large companies were still working out how much space they would need in city office towers in the future. 

A Lendlease spokeswoman said the construction and property giant was in discussions with David Jones about the site, just as it had continued to support all retailers.

After the easing of NSW government Covid-19 restrictions in October workers had begun returning to the district and more than 95 per cent of retail businesses at Barangaroo had reopened. 

After the easing of NSW government Covid-19 restrictions in October workers had begun returning to the district and more than 95 per cent of retail businesses at Barangaroo had reopened. David Jones was one of only three retailers to remain closed

After the easing of NSW government Covid-19 restrictions in October workers had begun returning to the district and more than 95 per cent of retail businesses at Barangaroo had reopened. David Jones was one of only three retailers to remain closed

After the easing of NSW government Covid-19 restrictions in October workers had begun returning to the district and more than 95 per cent of retail businesses at Barangaroo had reopened. David Jones was one of only three retailers to remain closed

Just three operators remained temporarily closed due to staffing shortages and according to Lendlease those businesses planned to reopen in the New Year. 

Securing staff continued to be a challenge for a handful of Barangaroo businesses due to the absence of foreign students and the previous closure of international borders.

During the last lockdown no retailers in the precinct permanently closed.  

The $2.2billion Crown Sydney casino is yet to welcome gamblers due to regulatory findings against its operator, although its ritzy restaurants have opened.

Securing staff continued to be a challenge for a handful of Barangaroo businesses due to the absence of foreign students and the previous closure of international borders. During the last lockdown no retailers in the precinct permanently closed

Securing staff continued to be a challenge for a handful of Barangaroo businesses due to the absence of foreign students and the previous closure of international borders. During the last lockdown no retailers in the precinct permanently closed

Securing staff continued to be a challenge for a handful of Barangaroo businesses due to the absence of foreign students and the previous closure of international borders. During the last lockdown no retailers in the precinct permanently closed

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