A world without Target stores is a sad world indeed but it is one that is looking like a definite possibility, following mass store closures and conversions to Kmart.
Our local Target (which I never in a million years thought would ever close) has recently been transformed into a Kmart and many other Target customers are suffering the blow of the retailer’s doors shutting forever.
Wesfarmers, the parent company of both Target and Kmart, are already well into the process of converting 92 large format Target stores and Target Country stores into Kmart branches, while around 75 Target stores are shutting its doors permanently.
No More Target Shops?
There will still be around 120 physical Target stores after all the changes, but there are indications that the department store will continue to shrink and could eventually transform into a purely online business.
Head of Kmart Group, Ian Bailey, spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald admitting that the online version of Target could “absolutely” become bigger than the physical business.
“It’s already a very profitable channel for us, and we think it has a lot of potential to grow,” Mr Bailey said.
“As to what the percentage [online] would be, time will tell, but I certainly believe online will be a very, very important part of the Target business and we’re certainly investing in the growth of online for Target,” he added.
Ensure A Future For Target
Wesfarmers originally said that this move towards closing stores or converting them to Kmart is to “improve the commercial viability of the business and to support the thousands of people we employ.” The organisation aims “to make it smaller, more focused, less complex and more digitally enabled so we can better serve our customers both instore and online.”
Will Target Be Targetted?
With all these changes, the question is, will Target be swallowed up by Kmart completely? But Mr Bailey is adamant that customers won’t be losing the retailer for now.
“That would be very unlikely. The Target brand is a very powerful brand and we see it as a great asset,” he said.
Introducing TORY The Kmart Robot
Earlier this week Mr Bailey spoke to investors saying that the company was focusing on addressing stock issues that it struggled with during COVID.
He said that an in-store robot, named TORY, would be introduced in Kmart stores to scan product levels and help to track stock levels. The human-sized robot would be able to move around the store during shop-hours but would most likely be used when the retailer was closed or quieter.
Would you be sad if all Target stores closed? Would you still used Target online? Have you been personally affected by the Target store closures or conversions? Tell us in the comments below.