It provides locals and international travellers the best luxury brands at their fingertops.
Luxury duty-free retailer DFS has officially opened its newly renovated T Galleria by DFS on George Street in Sydney’s iconic The Rocks precinct.
The store’s refurbishment began in 2016 under the direction of Australian design company PMDL, which was also responsible for the brand’s T Galleria outfits in Macau, and Angkor.
At 70,000 square feet, the sprawling outfit takes up a considerable amount of prized retail space, and is home to more than 150 luxury brands, including Bvalgari, Salvatore Ferragamo and Hermes.
To learn more about the refurbishment and the vision behind the brand, Robb Report sat down for a chat with Robert Calzadilla, DFS Managing Director, Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
DFS Managing Director, Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, Robert Calzadilla. Photo: Nikki To
Why did the company feel the need to renovate the building?
Because of the store’s location in such an important historic area, we worked very closely with the local authorities to ensure we respected all the codes necessary to upgrade the building with care and sensitivity. The location of store brings a whole new experience to visitors from all around the world, offering them a fresh, one-of-a kind duty free retail space in one of Sydney’s most vibrant and prestigious areas.
Have you noticed an increase in demand for luxury brands in the Australian market?
The profile of the luxury brand consumer is shifting right across the world. As more people travel, shopping patterns also change. We are seeing that Australian consumers are more willing to spend on products that they see as an investment; particular luxury timepieces and jewellery.
DFS T-Galleria does regular exclusive collaborations with designers, such as Bulgari. Photo: Instagram/dfsofficial
Shoppers have taken to the unqiuely Australian offerings at the brand's Sydney stoe. Photo: Nikki To
Obviously, the store, especially given its location, attracts a lot of tourists – but do you find a lot of Australian buyers visiting?
Australian customers are also avid travellers, and they are well-educated about international brand names and products. So, they are also interested in being able to purchase high-quality products from the best international brands.
Have you found any surprising standouts (eg. brands) that have taken off in the Australian market?
Australia really is a cornucopia of amazing food and wine, and international customers are always seeking out these products to take home. Customer favourites include Ovvio organic certified tea, Handpicked wines and Yalumba wine, and of course, the ever-popular Tim Tams! In terms of serving our Australian customers, again we aim to continually introduce newer brands to them, such as Moncler Italian skiwear, which has its only brand-dedicated space here with us in Sydney.