How Target's closures will impact Bowen store

Susan Stokes ran an independent grocery store in Emerald for 11 years she said the closure of Target shops will result in more online shopping

With 284 stores nationwide, Target is the country's largest department store network but its owner fast-tracked a review of operations in April after the shutdown meant to contain the virus accelerated a sales slump.

So where did it all go wrong for the once-booming chain?

It is also focusing on increasing digital offerings by both Target and Kmart.

"I don't think there is too much shock in this announcement as most analysts identified several years ago numerous shortcomings associated with the Target brand", Dr Mortimer said.

Target has been subject to ongoing efforts to revitalise the brand as it suffers from changing consumer shopping behaviour, with an unclear position in the market.

"Their marketing strategy also doesn't relate to their target market always".

Wesfarmers CEO Rob Scott confirmed the restructure in an investor note today.

The majority of these changes will occur next year, and we are committed to looking for redeployment opportunities for affected team members in Kmart, Catch and other Wesfarmers businesses, including guaranteeing job offers to all Target team members in converted stores.

How will the closure of Target shops affect CQ shoppers
How will the closure of Target shops affect CQ shoppers

"Over the last two months, Bunnings and Officeworks have experienced significant demand growth as customers and their families spent more time working, learning and relaxing at home", Wesfarmers said at the time.

As Target desperately attempted to turn things around, it came up with several plans.

The announcement comes at a critical time for Wesfarmers department store division.

But Dr Mortimer said that in itself was a "really risky venture" considering how crowded the middle market already was.

"It would also then come into worldwide competition with global fast fashion retailers like H&M and Uniqlo". In April, Wesfarmers identified that while Kmart was profitable, Target's earnings had "decreased significantly."

The company also intends to shift focus from shopfronts to online and while COVID-19 is likely to have been a catalyst for exiting commercial leases and job cuts of around 10 per cent, financial analysts say that concerns about the chain were well established before coronavirus reared its head. There's no word on the other Canberra Target stores.

Camera IconMany of the stores will be rebranded as Kmart, which has been the more profitable business.

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