29 May, 2020
Longreach store targeted for closure
RETAIL STORE Target becomes the latest victim of a declining economy, with owner of the business, Wesfarmers, announcing the closure of 167 stores nationwide.
While 92 of the 167 establishments will be rebranded
under the Kmart banner, 75 will be shutting down, with stores in Longreach,
Biloela and Emerald among those set to close.
Both stores have been pitted against each other in a competition for sales dominance since Wesfarmers purchased Target in 2007 and Kmart in 2017, with Kmart outperforming its sister store in sales and marketing.
Managing Director of Target Australia, Marina Joanou, said she understood the impacts this would have on employees and customers, but was proud to say Target had been an integral retail store across the nation.
“A number of our stores will be leaving the Target family,” Ms Joanou said. “Some of these will be converting to Kmart but, sadly, some will be closing. The majority of these changes will happen next year.
“We understand these closures will affect a lot of people in the Target community and we appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times.
“We are committed to providing every opportunity for redeployment for our team members who will be affected by these changes.
“We are proud to have a rich history as an Australian company and we are committed to serving our valued customers now and into the future.”
Ms Joanou said the decision to close certain stores, particularly those in regional areas, was difficult, but necessary to improve and adapt the company’s operations.
“The decision to transform the Target network, and particularly the very difficult decision to close some of our stores, is not one made lightly, but one that is necessary to improve the commercial viability of the business and to support the thousands of people we employ,” Ms Joanou said.
“To do this successfully in the current retail environment, we know we need to adapt our business, to make it smaller, more focused, less complex, and more digitally enabled so we can better serve our customers both in-store and online.”
Longreach Mayor, Tony Rayner, said the council had begun plans to fill the soon-to-be vacant building in the town’s main street.
“It is disappointing news that a business is closing in our central business district,” Cr Rayner said. “However it is a commercial business decision for that company.
“The central location is perfect for another business to establish and our council is seeking companies to invest in Longreach as it is a major service centre for the region and for tourists in normal circumstances.”