Target store closures and rebrand list announced in major retail shake-up

Business  ‘Always had a problem’ Why Target couldn’t compete

Following a review into its Target stores, Westfarmers made a decision to convert between 10 and 40 suitable Target and Target Country stores into Kmarts, subject to support from landlords.

Meanwhile, IBISWorld has questioned if today's news could spell the end of Target, claiming it had "underperformed Kmart over the past five years" with sales "declining significantly" after a brief coronavirus-led boost in February and March 2020.

The company says it will convert as few as 10 and as many as 40 Target stores as well as 52 Target Country stores to Kmart stores.

"For some time now, the retail sector has seen significant structural change and disruption, and we expect this trend to continue", Mr Scott said.

Associate Professor Nitika Garg from the School of Marketing at UNSW agrees and said Target has always "had a problem" in the market and failed to set itself apart from expensive and discounted retail stores.

Practically speaking, as many as 1,300 of the existing 13,000 staff could lose their jobs as Target stores close or are converted into Kmarts.

Experts claim Target failed to set itself apart from expensive and discount stores
Experts claim Target failed to set itself apart from expensive and discount stores

Target's announcement to close or rebrand stores across the country promised the expansion of its digital offer to provide customers with access to the Kmart and Target products, as well as two million products from the Catch marketplace, via home delivery or click and collect.

More than a thousand workers in the struggling retail industry are at risk of losing their jobs after the owners of discount department store chain Target chose to close as many as 75 stores.

"The changes announced reflect our continued focus on investing in Kmart, a business with a compelling customer offer and strong competitive advantages".

The conglomerate also flagged that it expected to book one-off 'non-operating costs of approximately $120 to $140 million relating to the conversion of stores and stock clearance activity prior to closure of conversion'. It will also reduce the size of Target's store support office.

The store changes are set to happen over the next 12 months, with a lot of them scheduled for 2021.

"Across the Kmart Group we have made a significant effort to avoid store closures and retain our people and for impacted store team members we have the benefit of time to help find alternative employment opportunities".

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