Australian retailer David Jones has announced its intention to enter the New Zealand market for the first time next year, with a store in the country’s capital.

The Wellington store will be the first David Jones to open outside Australia in the company’s 177 year history, and will be on the site of department store Kirkcaldie & Stains.

“This is an exciting new venture for David Jones, giving us a significant initial presence in New Zealand’s growing market with a prime location in the thriving capital,” says David Jones chief executive officer, Ian Nairn.

“We were excited when Kirkcaldie & Stains approached us… We are proud to reinvigorate the historic retail space and maintain it as the home of NZ’s premium department store.”

David Jones will take on the Kirkcaldie & Stains lease when they close in February 2016, and is set to open for trade mid-year after an internal upgrade. According to Nairn, the renovation will reflect David Jones’ ‘next generation’ concept, with a modern interior.

“We will preserve the heritage listed frontage whilst completely renovating the interior,” he explains. “Our aim is to create a world class shopping environment with the quality furnishings and latest retail technology that shoppers expect from a premium department store.”

Nairn says the launch of David Jones Wellington will inspire shoppers, by offering them access to an extensive selection of brands.

“We’ll be bringing an edit of our range to the market to offer New Zealanders an expanded assortment of Australian, international and private label brands. We’re also looking forward to seeing more from New Zealand designers.”