Australia’s leading bookseller Dymocks has unveiled its new flagship Rundle Mall, following a $1.5 million fit-out of the historic Regent Theatre. The store’s grand opening was launched at 9am on Wednesday 20 April, with the first 100 customers going into the draw to win a year’s supply of books.
The new flagship store occupies the former Regent Theatre, which extends across the entire first floor above the Regent Arcade shopping arcade and was described by The Advertiser when it opened in 1928 as Australia’s most luxurious theatre and a ‘palace of art’.
With nearly 1,000m2 of floor space, Dymocks Adelaide is South Australia’s largest bookstore.
As part of the fit out, Dymocks is honouring the theatre’s cultural prominence by maintaining the intricate wall and ceiling arabesque decorations and restoring 10 pieces of former theatre furniture found in the basement, including tub chairs, a club lounge and sofa. These will be placed around the store for customers to enjoy.
The opening of the new Rundle Mall flagship store follows the retirement of long-term franchisee Mandy Macky last year and the temporary relocation into a smaller store in the Myer Centre.
Dymocks Managing Director Mark Newman said the new store continued the bookseller’s more than 30-year history in Rundle Mall. “We made a commitment when our former franchisee Mandy Macky retired to maintain Dymocks’ presence in the city and find a new home for a store that had served generations of book lovers,” he said.
“As an iconic Australian brand with a rich history, we’re excited that an equally well-known and much-loved building will be home to our new South Australian flagship.
“We have worked closely with award-winning Adelaide architects Grieve Gillett Andersen to preserve the building’s features while creating an innovative fitout that sets a new benchmark for bookselling and creates a destination for book lovers and heritage buffs alike.
“With more than 25,000 individual titles and a team of expert booksellers boasting more than a century of combined book retailing experience, we guarantee we can help our customers find the book they’ve been looking for or recommend one they won’t be able to put down.”
Approximately 40 expert booksellers and retail assistants will work at the new Dymocks Adelaide store, including most of the employees from the previous two locations.
The new Dymocks Adelaide extends beyond books, to include what’s believed to be Rundle Mall’s largest giftware range including bookish gifts, stationery, games, and puzzles.
Rundle Mall Program Manager Nicky Smith said the new flagship store reaffirmed the Mall’s reputation as South Australia’s premier retail destination.
“Dymocks is one of the many local, national and international brands to have flagship stores in Rundle Mall,” she said.
“We know Dymocks has a strong following of loyal customers and anticipate that this new store will attract book lovers of all ages into the precinct to shop in Rundle Mall.”
Access to Dymocks Adelaide will be via escalators on Rundle Mall, between men’s clothing store Connor and private health insurer Bupa, while there will be elevator access available from the Rundle Mall entrance to Regent Arcade.