David Jones is looking to diversify from the under-pressure department store sector by selling ready meals and other food at BP petrol stations.
Ten BP filling stations around Sydney and Melbourne will trial the project over the next months, selling more than 350 products including sandwiches, sushi, rotisserie chicken, pre-prepared meals and groceries.
BP already has a similar partnership with Marks and Spencer in the UK, where rival Shell has a deal with up-market supermarket Waitrose.
“Consumer behaviour is changing and demand for fresh, food-for-now and food-for-later options continues to grow,” David Jones Food managing director Pieter de Wet said on Tuesday.
“This product range combines innovation with freshness and taste to deliver an offering that is both convenient and of the highest quality.”
The move comes as David Jones and chain store rival Myer seek to boost sales amid increased competition and harsh conditions for Australian retail.
Australian Bureau of Statistics’ retail trade data shows seasonally adjusted department store spending dropped in six of nine months through to June, the most recent month for which figures are available.
South African owner Woolworths Holdings this month struck another $437.4 million from the value of DJs, reducing the value of the chain to $965 million because of “economic headwinds and the accelerating structural changes”.
It paid $2.2 billion for the up-market stores in 2014.
The 181-year-old David Jones, which claims to be the oldest continuously operating department store in the world still under its original name, has 47 stores in Australia and New Zealand, many with a food section.
It will launch its first stand-alone food store at South Yarra’s Capitol Grand in October and unveil its new Sydney Food Hall in March as part of a long-running refurbishment of its Elizabeth Street flagship store.