TARGET announced dozens of stores would be closed over the next five years in an effort to reduce its footprint by 20 per cent.
The company plans to create a ‘boutique’ fashion chain rather than operating as a department store.
A Target spokeswoman said the Horsham and Ararat stores would not be affected at this stage. She said it was “business as usual” for Target.
“All stakeholders will be communicated with well in advance of any planned change to our store network,” she said. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the communities where we operate and remain committed to providing our customers fashion that excites and quality that endures.
“As always, and with great respect, our team members will be communicated with first if there are any planned changes to our stores.”
Wesfarmers’ department stores chief executive Guy Russo said that having stabilised Target's earnings and reset its cost base, after it ran at a $195 million loss in 2016, the group would further improve profitability by closing underperforming stores when their leases expired.
“We’re not going to go after size any more, and we’ll just be a nice new boutique retailer that plays in mid-tier, and I’d like to make sure it's a profitable mid-tier business," he said.
Mr Russo said Target was continuing its shift away from its traditional market position as a rival to Kmart and Big W to a more fashionable brand in the mould of foreign fast-fashion giants H&M, Uniqlo and Zara.
He said he had given his design teams a mandate to improve quality and style, while dropping prices compared to the fast-fashion competitors.
- with The Age