THERE will be no brand changes at Bathurst's Target store, but others across the region aren't so lucky after parent company Wesfarmers announced a massive restructure of its department stores business.
Wesfarmers told the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday morning that it would be converting up to 40 of the group's large format Target stores to Kmart outlets and permanently closing between 10 and 25 stores.
The shake-up will also see about 52 Target Country stores converted to small format Kmart stores while the doors will close at a further 50 Target Country stores.
Wesfarmers was initially tight-lipped about which stores would be affected but when a list was released on Friday evening, the Bathurst store was slated for neither conversion nor closure.
It was a similar story for the Dubbo Target store but the news was not as good for the Forbes outlet, which has been earmarked for closure in the first half of 2021.
Mudgee's Target will be converted to a Kmart early next year while it appears there will be no change at the Lithgow, Parkes and Cowra stores.
It is the second time in 12 months that the Bathurst Target has survived closure speculation.
It's quite difficult to predict what's happening in the Australian economy ...Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott
Target Group sales declined by 1.5 per cent during the 2018-19 financial year and Wesfarmers closed 15 stores across Australia during this 12-month period.
In August last year, Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said difficult trading conditions had "certainly impacted sales and earnings" for Target stores.
"It's quite difficult to predict what's happening in the Australian economy and what's going on in the global economy where there's quite a lot of uncertainties at the moment," he said.
Meanwhile, federal Nationals deputy leader David Littleproud has called for a boycott of Target stores in response to Wesfarmers' closure plans.
Mr Littleproud said big corporations had an obligation to "show some social licence" at this time.
"They make a lot of money; they make billions out of Australians. And the reality [that] they want to turn their back on the most vulnerable, just goes to show that corporate Australia has lost its way morally," he said.
"Whether it be the supermarkets, whether it be the telcos. But now, now we've got these types of stores, these general stores doing this sort of stuff to regional Australia, just goes to show they don't give a rat's about us.
"And you know what? I think Australians should vote with their wallets and not go near them. That's the sort of reaction that all Australians should stand united.
"And if you're not going to support one another, well don't support them."
Stores to close:
- Armidale (early-mid 2021)
- Campbelltown (July 2020)
- Casino Retail Centre (early-mid 2021)
- Cooma (early-mid 2021)
- Cootamundra (early-mid 2021)
- Corowa (early-mid 2021)
- Deniliquin (early-mid 2021)
- Forbes (early-mid 2021)
- Goonellabah (early 2021)
- Leeton (early 2021)
- Merimbula (early-mid 2021)
- Morisset (early-mid 2021)
- Murgon (early-mid 2021)
- Narrabri (early-mid 2021)
- Nowra (early-mid 2021)
- Salamander Bay (early-mid 2021)
- Scone (early-mid 2021)
- Wagga Wagga (early-mid 2021)
- Winmalee (early-mid 2021)
Stores to rebrand as Kmart:
- Bega (early-mid 2021)
- Bowral (early 2021)
- Gunnedah (early 2021)
- Katoomba (early 2021)
- Moree (early 2021)
- Mudgee (early 2021)
- Ocean Shores Village Centre (early 2021)
- Picton (early 2021)
- Tumut (early 2021)
- Ulladulla (early 2021)
- Windsor Town S/C (early 2021)
- Yamba (early 2021)
- Yass (early 2021)
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