SALE Target will be one of two left in Gippsland from mid-next year.
On Friday, Wesfarmers announced it will shrink the struggling chain, closing 10 to 25 large format Target stores and 50 Target Country stores across Australia for the “commercial viability of the business”.
Ninety-two other sites will be converted into Kmart stores.
Target Country stores at Traralgon, Bairnsdale and Warragul will close in early to mid-2021.
Target Country stores at Lakes Entrance and Leongatha will be converted to Kmart – a more profitable chain for Wesfarmers.
Morwell Target closed in July of 2018 after operating in Morwell for 35 years, citing an expiry of the store’s lease as the reasoning behind the decision.
Sale and Wonthaggi will have the only Target stores in Gippsland.
The company cited the need to adapt its business “to make it smaller, more focused, less complex and more digitally enabled”.
Up to 92 stores will be converted into Kmart stores across Australia.
Target Australia managing director Marina Joanou said the company was committed to providing opportunities for redeployment for affected employees.
In April 2020, Wesfarmers announced it would be completing a review “to improve the unsatisfactory financial performance of Target”, adding COVID-19 had hit in-store sales momentum hard.
“While Kmart remains profitable, Target earnings have decreased significantly,” a Wesfarmers COVID-19 update reads.
The Sale Target store, which is in Gippsland Centre, is one of the town’s most popular department stores. Renovations carried out in the store in the past few months are expected to be completed soon.