Saturday, 30 May, 2020

Target To Close, Rebrand At Least 122 Stores In Australia

Up to 75 Target stores to close in massive restructure Wesfarmers Is Converting Target Stores To Kmart Ones
Ginger Lawrence | 23 May, 2020, 13:31

In a shareholder announcement on May 22, parent-company Wesfarmers announced the restructure as part of an ongoing review of Target's operations.

The store changes are set to happen over the next 12 months, with majority scheduled for 2021.

Wesfarmers did say that 10 to 40 Target stores would be converted to large-format Kmart locations upon landlord approval, and 53 Target Country stores would move to small-format Kmart stores.

Between 10 to 25 "large format" Target stores and 50 Target Country stores will be closed.

These changes will result in a significant reduction in the size of the Target store support office.

An update to the Australian Securities Exchange this morning confirmed that Wesfarmers sees a dim future ahead for Target, with Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott singling out Target as the weakest brand in its portfolio.

"In addition, Wesfarmers has established a cross-divisional working group to identify redeployment opportunities for affected team members, including in Bunnings and Officeworks". In a statement, Wesfarmers said the conversion will provide "improved financial performance" for the Kmart group and improve Target's viability. The Wesfarmers release noted that "Kmart Group will continue its investment in its digital channels".

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Speaking to the ABC, Wesfarmers said the decision will see as many as 1,300 positions at Target disappear.

All Target employees will be offered alternative employment across the Wesfarmers group, including Kmart, Officeworks, Bunnings, and Catch Group, which was acquired a year ago by Wesfarmers.

Between 122 and 167 locations will either be converted or shut, or around half of Target's 284-strong store network.

"Leveraging the strengths of the Kmart Group, we have made a significant effort to avoid store closures, retain our valued team members, keep serving our customers and supporting our suppliers", Kmart Group Managing Director Ian Bailey said.

"Unfortunately, the disruptive and competitive nature of the retail sector requires us to make some hard decisions to ensure we have a viable Target business into the future, while continuing the strong growth of Kmart and Catch".

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