The future of Target stores in the Canberra region will be dramatically different after a decision to close or rebadge as Kmart more than 150 stores across Australia.
Owners Wesfarmers told the stock market on Friday morning that it would shift its focus from the struggling Target brand to Kmart.
It will also look to increase its online efforts in a move away from brick and mortar stores in town centres.
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Target has a strong representation in Canberra and the wider region, with stores in the Canberra Centre, Belconnen, Weston Creek, Queanbeyan, Yass, Goulburn and Tumut.
The Queanbeyan store was slated to close this weekend under a previous announcement.
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 yet 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 12 months as stores close or convert.
The iconic brand in virtually every town centre began as a drapery store in 1926 in Geelong, Victoria. Some have been closing over recent months.
It is not clear how the closure of some stores will damage the reputation of those which remain.
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".
Some country towns have Target Country stores as the only remaining department-style store.