Target stores to close as Kmart expands

Many Target stores will close or become Kmarts. Picture: Shutterstock
Many Target stores will close or become Kmarts. Picture: Shutterstock

More than 150 Target stores are either to close altogether or be converted to Kmart stores in a major restructuring by owners, Wesfarmers.

The announcement comes after the Mandurah Mail revealed Target Meadow Springs would close on August 1.

On May 7, a Target spokeswoman told the Mail the company was "working hard to ensure Meadow Springs team members can join another Target team at a store convenient to them or across the wider Wesfarmers retail businesses".

The closure of the store was announced to the teams in mid-January.

The company told the stock market on Friday morning that it would shift its focus from the struggling Target brand to Kmart.

It is also to increase its online efforts in a move from bricks and mortar stores in town centres.

The Target brand will remain, with some stores still open, but most will either be closed or converted to Kmart.

The company said that all of the rural Target Country stores would either convert or close but 125 Target Stores will remain compared with the 284 currently in existence. The locations of the closures have not been made public.

On the latest figures, Target had 13,000 employees. About a tenth of those jobs are expected to go in the next twelve months as stores close or convert.

In a statement, the company listed the measures to "address the unsustainable financial performance of Target".

It spelt out the changes:

  • "The conversion of between 10 to 40 large format stores to Kmart.
  • The conversion of approximately 52 Target Country stores to small format Kmart stores.
  • The closure of between 10 to 25 large format Target stores and the closure of the remaining 50 Target Country stores which are not suitable for conversion to Kmart.

Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said: "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."

"The reduction in the Target store network will be complemented by increased investment in our digital capabilities, following the continued strong growth in online sales across the Kmart Group."

The company said that Target employees in stores being converted to Kmart would be offered employment under the new brand. Other employees "will be given consideration for new roles".

Its statement said Wesfarmers and the Kmart Group "recognise that these actions will have a significant effect on a number of Target team members".

Some country towns have Target Country stores as the only remaining department-style store.

It's not clear how many will convert to Kmart or where they might be.