David Jones out of the running for Thomas Dux

By Sarah Homewood and Nicola Riches | 30 June 2015

David Jones has moved to refute claims that it will acquire Woolworths' high-end grocery chain Thomas Dux, after a fresh round of rumours circulated this morning that it is up for sale.

A spokesperson for David Jones told AdNews this morning that there is “no substance to the speculation”, but clarified that it sees food and food services as being “important elements” of the department store's future.

The spokesperson said: "Food and food services are important elements of the existing and future David Jones and, as in all areas of our stores, we are focussed on providing our customers with a continually improving experience and product offer.

David Jones (which is owned by the South African, and entirely separate firm, Woolworths Holdings) recently appointed a new Foods general manager – Pieter De Wet – who has been driving the food side of the business in South Africa.

Woolworths Australia is believed to have put Thomas Dux up for grabs earlier this year, accompanied by a price tag between $10-$20m.

The first Dux store opened in Lane Cove in 2008 and went on to open on eight sites formerly occupied by Macro Wholefoods.

The 10-store gourmet food chain became profitable last year.

Woolworths refused to comment.

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