It's been announced that Target will leave our local sub-regional shopping centre at the end of the year and be replaced next year by David Jones (see http://stonnington-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/david-jones-to-replace-target-at-malvern-central/). You'll see from the comments (http://stonnington-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/target-malvern-central-to-close/ ) that this has given rise to a mixed local reaction, but there are some concerns, which might be translated (in my case) as, where will I buy my socks?
The tone of the announcements seems to suggest that it wasn't Target's initiative that they should leave, but rather that the shopping centre wanted to "re-position" itself. But who knows? I understand Malvern Central is owned by AMP Capital, and would an AMP entity willingly pick a fight with a Wesfarmers entity?
DJs have been reported as stating that they're modelling the store on their smaller format stores such as at Claremont (WA) (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/new-look-david-jones-to-open-in-malvern-central-shopping-centre/story-fndo2dsc-1226460602342). We were living in WA when DJs took over Ahearns, including the store at Claremont, but while the name over the door changed, the conversion into a DJs took place after our time.
I suppose there are similarities in the demographics of the areas but I suspect there are also some differences. For example, there's probably more cultural and socio-economic diversity around Malvern (but, given the higher density, I guess in terms of absolute numbers the Malvern catchment would still have plenty of people in the demographic that DJs would aim for), and it's a lot harder to move around the Malvern area by car than in the Claremont catchment area (but perhaps traffic congestion doesn't deter the sort of people that DJs are aiming at, given the number of them who do the school pick-up run and sit in Friday afternoon gridlock). Public transport access (train and tram/bus) is rather similar, although train access doesn't seem to rate in Malvern Central's thinking, given the roundabout pedestrian access from the station (it would be relatively simple to provide a more direct route to the station, but this has never been done even though it was a condition of the original development). Presumably the view is that DJs' customers don't travel by train. One potentially significant factor is that the Malvern operation will obviously start from scratch, whereas Ahearns had a long-established presence.
It will be interesting to see how it goes, and in the meantime I can report that my sock drawer is already very well-stocked, with enough socks to last several years!