'What a tragedy': Target closures spark outcry among fans

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Target fans have taken to social media to share their thoughts after Wesfarmers announced it will be closing or converting 167 stores to Kmart across the nation.

The massive restructure will see between 10 to 25 ‘large format’ Target stores and 50 Target Country stores closed.

Target fans have slammed Wesfarmers after they announced they will be closing or converting 167 stores across the nation. Photo: Getty
Target fans have slammed Wesfarmers after they announced they will be closing or converting 167 stores across the nation. Photo: Getty

While 10 to 40 large format Target stores and 52 Target Country stores will be converted to Kmart stores.

According to parent company Wesfarmers, a review in April of Target found that the closures or conversions needed to take place in order to reduce its "unsustainable cost base”.

Fans have taken to Twitter with mixed feelings about the closures, while many are upset that they will potentially have to farewell their local Target, others are ecstatic at the idea of shopping at Kmart instead.

"Why. Why would they do this. Target have better quality products, with more range. I love Kmart but this is wrong," one fan wrote.

Another called it a "tragedy", "What a tragedy. I’ve been shopping at target since mum took us there was a kid, I’m 50 next year."

"I don’t like Kmart.. Target have a better range of tech, toys, gaming, better bed spreads, Kmart is just cheap and tacky," said one user.

Some, however, had been expecting the change with one person writing, "Writing was on the wall for Target for a while."

"Let's face it, 'Target mums' are not a cultural phenomenon but 'Kmart mums' are. Target's thrown a lot of s**t at the wall (Baby Target; Urban by Target; Target Country) and tbh Kmart's stylish homewares have cannibalised Target's 'upmarket' tone," another added.

"It's funny how we all 'love' Kmart now .. Yet go back go 2008 and prior... Nobody wanted to shop there and it was Target we all shopped at. Wesfarmers single handedly destroyed one, while the other boomed, after the 2007 take-over of Coles-Myer Group. Sad for all employees,” someone else said.

Kmart
Many Target stores will be closed and reopened as Kmart. Photo: Getty

The changes will take place over the next 12 months with Target employees likely to lose their jobs, however, they will be offered the opportunity to hang onto their positions if their store is converted into Kmart.

A Target spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle, “During this difficult time, we are committed to supporting our team. 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.

“All team members in Target stores scheduled for conversion to Kmart will be offered the opportunity to join the growing Kmart team, for other affected Target team members, we will work with them to identify and offer other redeployment opportunities in Kmart, Catch, Bunnings and Officeworks as these businesses continue to grow.

“We believe that Target has a future as a leading retailer in Australia and we know it is loved by so many, but a number of actions are required to ensure it is fit for purpose in a competitive, challenging and dynamic market, including a smaller number of stores and a stronger online business.”

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