It has been only four years since Woolworths bought Australian department store David Jones, but the move could go down in history as a costly strategic misstep. Despite this, Woolworths plans to spend a further A$124m (about R1.29bn) capex at David Jones as it prepares for the relaunch of its Elizabeth Street flagship store in Sydney next year. Speaking in his office in Longmarket Street, Cape Town, Woolworths CEO Ian Moir said he spends an equal amount of time between Australia and SA as he attempts to salvage the department store. David Jones's problem is that it is an old-fashioned department store business that has not kept pace with changing consumer tastes, and Woolworths' attempts at a turnaround have failed as it competes with global retailers. "David Jones has undergone two years of the most inordinate transformation," said Moir. "When we bought the business, the first two years were good, we were trading up at 16% in those first two years, but we knew that we had to chang...

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