Another Australian Icon is set to close its doors amid the current COVID-19 crisis.
On Friday afternoon Wesfarmers announced that up to 167 Target and Target Country stores would be shut or converted to Kmart stores.
In a later announcement, Wesfarmers confirmed that Target Atherton would close, while the Target stores in Mareeba and Port Douglas would convert to K-Mart.
Currently, there are 280 Target stores in Australia, this restructure could see more than half of the Target store network gone.
The manager of Wesfarmers’ department store division, Ian Bailey, said there were would be “redeployment opportunities in Kmart and other Wesfarmers businesses” to “minimise the effect of these changes on Target team members”.
He also said that staff at stores that are to be converted will be offered a role at the new Kmart store.
“It had been a complex business to operate, due to different store formats creating supply chain issues.” He said
“We do understand the impact that has on regional communities and it’s not a decision that we made lightly,
“If we could find an economic way of serving those communities with stores in those locations we would’ve loved to have done so … We will continue to serve them through online of course.”
Wesfarmers told the ABC it expects a reduction of 1,000 to 1,300 jobs over the next 12 months, with most job losses occurring in 2021.