By Aimee Chanthadavong

David Jones’ newly redeveloped Bourke Street Mall Melbourne flagship store has been the prominent driver of its sales for the first quarter of the 2011 financial year.

The department store has reported total and like-for-like sales revenue of $466.6 million, which is up 3.2 per cent from $452.1 million for the same period last year.

Paul Zahra, David Jones CEO, said its Bourke Street Mall store’s unique product offering of national and international brands is underpinning the company’s positive results.

“The store is unique as it is spread across two stores and the selling space has increased by more than 30 per cent since the redevelopment and sales from this store are doing well. We have also seen the completed refurbishments of our Kotara and Wollongong in October and our Claremont store is under redevelopment due to be completed in 2011” he said.

“It’s a competitive market and we aim to maintain our market share and we’ll continue to do what we’re doing.”

According to Zahra, this year will be the first period where all of its CBD flagship stores will be trading uninterrupted by construction work, which is expected to put them in a good lead this Christmas.

He also noted that good sale performances were seen in women’s accessories, menswear and home furnishings, particularly in Manchester

However, he said that consumer shopping behaviour is still “patchy” and expects the next quarter to be flat.

“We remain cautiously optimistic as our plan is be flat and leverage the growth if it’s there and it will be a flat growth for the Christmas season. We are quite patchy but there were no discernable days or very average days in last quarter to be negative about,” he said.

“There’s also just conservatism among customers in their spending and I think Christmas will either be the event to break it, but we’ll just have to see for ourselves.”

As consumers remain conservative, Zahra was cautious to provide a guidance update for its second quarter.

”We do however reconfirm our profit after tax guidance for FY11 of 5 to 10 per cent growth,” Zahra said.