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

Genevieve Jacobs 25 May 2020 60

Target stores will close or convert across the South East and ACT. Photo: File.

UPDATED May 23: Following yesterday’s announcement of a major shake-up among Wesfarmers retail brands, Target has announced which stores will close and which will change to Kmarts. In the ACT, Weston Creek will close in early-mid 2021. There’s no indication about the other Canberra Target stores.

In the South East,  the Cooma, Cootamundra, Merimbula, Nowra and Wagga stores will all close in early to mid-2021 among other regional stores across NSW.

Target stores being converted into Kmart in the South East include Bega, Tumut, Ulladulla and Yass, from early to mid 2021.

May 22: The network of Target stores that services many communities in the ACT and South East NSW will undergo major changes, including multiple closures, Target’s parent company Wesfarmers announced to the ASX today.

Wesfarmers notified the markets of restructuring costs and provisions totalling approximately $120 to $170 million before tax, primarily reflecting Target store closure costs, inventory write-offs and a restructure of the Target store support back office.

In a statement, the company said they had been forced to “address the unsustainable financial performance of Target”.

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. The Target brand will remain intact and some stores will stay open but Wesfarmers intends to convert many of them into Kmarts with a different retail profile.

There are a number of Target stores in the ACT including at the Canberra Centre, Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Weston Creek. There are also target stores in Yass, Goulburn, Cootamundra, Merimbula and Tumut. Wesfarmers says that all rural Target Country stores will either convert to small format Kmart stores or close.

It’s not clear what their intentions are for city Target shopfronts and the closure locations have not been made public yet.

The move has been greeted with widespread criticism, including calls for boycotts.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said that companies like Wesfarmers had “lost their moral compass” in making major changes that would significantly affect regional communities.

“They make billions out of Australians and are turning their back on the most vulnerable … they don’t give a rat’s about us,” he said today. “If you’re not going to support one another, then don’t support them.”

The company also intends to shift focus from shopfronts to online and while COVID-19 is likely to have been a catalyst for exiting commercial leases and job cuts of around 10 per cent, financial analysts say that concerns about the chain were well established before coronavirus reared its head.

“Following the completion of the first phase of the Target review, Kmart Group has identified a number of actions to accelerate the growth of Kmart,” the stock market statement said.

Chief executive Rob Scott said today that Target workers would be offered redeployment to Kmart, Bunnings and Officeworks, which are also owned by Wesfarmers.

“For some time now, the retail sector has seen significant structural change and disruption, and we expect this trend to continue. With the exception of Target, Wesfarmers’ retail businesses are well-positioned to respond to the changes in consumer behaviour and competition associated with this disruption,” he said.

“The actions announced reflect our continued focus on investing in Kmart, a business with a compelling customer offer and strong competitive advantages, while also improving the viability of Target by addressing some of its structural challenges by simplifying the business model.”

The company began in Geelong in 1926 as a drapery. Target stores across regional Australia are often the only general retail stores in country towns. The closures will take place over the next 12 months.

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60 Responses to UPDATED: Target store closures and rebrand list announced in major retail shake-up
Judith Bates Judith Bates 8:32 pm 22 May 20

Hope weston doesn't close

Joanna Walker Joanna Walker 8:28 pm 22 May 20

Belinda it looks like Cootamundra will be affected too!

    Belinda Philp Belinda Philp 8:39 pm 22 May 20

    Joanna Walker no good at all. We all have our fingers crossed for our towns store 🤞🤞

Michelle O'Neill Michelle O'Neill 8:10 pm 22 May 20

I've all ways disliked Kmart I'll never shop in one again

Carolyn Hullick Carolyn Hullick 7:10 pm 22 May 20

Kmart is so much better store !

    Cheryl Ann Cheryl Ann 7:23 pm 22 May 20

    Carolyn Hullick target is much better quality

Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 6:46 pm 22 May 20

Boo. Target way better than K mart

    Liz Hodgson Liz Hodgson 7:43 pm 22 May 20

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason I'm with you...love Target

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:34 pm 22 May 20

With the prospect of standing in a queue for the privilege of getting into Bunnings a likelihood until social distancing rules are gone, it would be good to see more everyday hardware items available in Kmart – which used to have quite decent hardware sections until the takeover by Wesfarmers.

Mini-Bunnings in more accessible locations would be good, but that’s probably too much to hope for.

Jackson Bond Jackson Bond 5:55 pm 22 May 20

I'm not sure boycotting Wesfarmers other interests is the best idea Mr Littleproud. All that will do is cause those businesses to be unprofitable and close, putting more people out of work and affecting the millions of Australians who's superannuation is heavily tied up in Wesfarmers shares.

Carole Ford Carole Ford 5:37 pm 22 May 20

I used to buy all my son's clothes at Target, always great quality and choice. Kmart not so much, cost low but also the quality.

Paul Leins Paul Leins 5:22 pm 22 May 20

Westfarmers gonna westfarmers

Lee McDowall Lee McDowall 5:18 pm 22 May 20

I hate kmart

Felicity Jane Felicity Jane 5:03 pm 22 May 20

What a shame Target has always meant quality. They cater to a demographic focused on quality and longevity and should have been marketed that way. I'll be taking my business elsewhere and it most definitely will not be KMart.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:53 am 23 May 20

    Felicity Jane why not continue to buy from Target? They are not closing altogether.

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 4:57 pm 22 May 20

Target clothes are much better quality.

Sarah Emmerson Sarah Emmerson 4:52 pm 22 May 20

I hope some of the clothes labels come across to Kmart. I liked the better cuts and quality of fabric

Laura Edwards Laura Edwards 4:39 pm 22 May 20

Diana Dass!!!!!! Nooooooooo I love target!!!!!

    Diana Dass Diana Dass 4:58 pm 22 May 20

    Laura Edwards nooooooo where are you going to get all your teal from?!

    Laura Edwards Laura Edwards 4:59 pm 22 May 20

    Diana Dass this can’t be happening....

Sarah Stephens Sarah Stephens 4:38 pm 22 May 20

I love Target

Christine Jack Christine Jack 4:17 pm 22 May 20

Target better quality

Lyns Cee Lyns Cee 2:23 pm 22 May 20

Belinda nooooooo

Vic Srbinovski Vic Srbinovski 2:05 pm 22 May 20

Hm what about a target and kmart in the same centre e.g. tuggeranong belconnen

    Chris Vlahos Chris Vlahos 2:14 pm 22 May 20

    Vic Srbinovski im sure they would close one

    Vic Srbinovski Vic Srbinovski 2:50 pm 22 May 20

    Chris Vlahos gathered that would be interesting to see what retailer would fulfill that gap

April Littrell April Littrell 1:52 pm 22 May 20

just like Flight centres merged with Escape Travel and now many shopping centres have way too many Flight Centre shopfronts 🤣

Jane Kim Jane Kim 1:32 pm 22 May 20

We think they should do the opposite - close the Kmarts and keep the Targets. Target is a much better shop.

    Amanda Eisman Amanda Eisman 2:13 pm 22 May 20

    Jane Kim I also agree

    Fay Tuckey Fay Tuckey 2:32 pm 22 May 20

    Jane Kim I also agree.

    Ross Bryant Ross Bryant 2:35 pm 22 May 20

    Jane Kim kmart must have bought the target stores or an executive decision was made.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 2:49 pm 22 May 20

    Ross Bryant if you read the story it will tell your.

    But a hint. Kmart hasn’t brought Kmart or Kmart stores. Both brands have (in Australia) had the same owner since the early 80’s. Originally Coles Myer now Westfarmers (who also owns Bunnings).

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 3:06 pm 22 May 20

    Especially since Kmart remodeled their stores to be far more difficult to find stuff in and the stupid checkouts in the middle of the store idea.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 3:13 pm 22 May 20

    Ross Bryant Wesfarmers have owned them both for a while.

    Nilanthi Wilson Nilanthi Wilson 3:20 pm 22 May 20

    Justin Watson agree what a stupid idea was that?

    Ross Bryant Ross Bryant 4:23 pm 22 May 20

    Jane Kim it must have come down to an executive decision. Things are always changing.

    Amanda Eisman Amanda Eisman 4:40 pm 22 May 20

    i hate their new look.

    Clarrie Crawford Clarrie Crawford 6:50 am 23 May 20

    Target will still be there, but with less outlets. That might actually help the struggling chain.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 9:22 am 23 May 20

    Clarrie Crawford yes, there will be fewer Target shops, however they are still a better option than Kmart, which has become "cheap and nasty" IMHO.

    Jane Kim Jane Kim 9:23 am 23 May 20

    Ross Bryant still,think it's the wrong way round. I'm old enough to remember Kmart when it was a much better chain than it is today. Don't even bother going to them any more.

    Brent Hutch Brent Hutch 1:00 pm 23 May 20

    What makes a better shop? Evidently, Kmart makes them more money... If you liked Target so much you should have opened your wallet there more. In any case, people are whinging about a non-event for Canberra... Basically nothing is changing.

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