Longreach prepares for the loss of Target store
Shoppers in Queensland’s central west have been making the most of big bargains ahead of the closure of Target Longreach on Saturday.
The store recently promoted a further 50 per cent off already discounted items as part of its clearance sale before the closure.
While shoppers are getting what they can now, locals will soon have to resort to online shopping or travelling for basic clothing and homewares.
Longreach mum of three boys, Louise Seccombe, said it was really sad to see the town lose another business.
“It was really sad to hear another store has become victim to what I think would be the drought,” she said.
“It’s probably also a lot of online shopping now, but it’s definitely sad for us, living so remote, it is hard to get some things.”
Mrs Seccombe said a few of the larger brands had left the town over the years, with Target being one of the only last remaining household brands.
“Target was the go-to place for small appliances, and I always buy Target tops because we go swimming in the river and with three kids you need those last minute things, like underwear and socks... you can just run in and get those things,” she said.
“But now we’ll have to be a lot more organised. We’re going to have to think ahead [to order online].”
The mother-of-three said they may even have to save their shopping for when travelling to bigger towns.
“When we travel away, I don’t love to spend all my time shopping,” she said.
“I don’t want to have a long list of things to shop for because it adds to your list of things to do rather than having a holiday, but we won’t really have a choice.”
The Longreach store closure comes as part of Target’s nationwide restructure to roll out this year, affecting 150 stores across the country.
Parent company Wesfarmers confirmed that three stores across Queensland would be closing their doors within days, including Longreach on April 10, followed by Cairns’ Clifton Beach on April 17 and north Brisbane’s Kippa-Ring on April 24.
Three Central Queensland stores have already closed this year, including Biloela and Moranbah, followed by the Emerald store on April 3.
Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar said he was concerned about the job losses the closure would cause to the town and the region.
“Here’s another business, closing down in western Queensland when they didn’t have to,” he said.
“It takes away people’s jobs and the ability for people to buy goods and services.
“I think it’s about time these multinational businesses start backing regional and western Queensland and stop closing down these essential services.”
But Mr Millar and Mrs Seccombe both hoped it would spark an opportunity for other retailers to fill the gap.
“We’ve got some fantastic businesses in Longreach and Emerald that can hopefully make up for these bigger businesses,” Mr Millar said.
Mrs Seccombe said it would be great to have access to a store that offered affordable basic items for the family.
“My friends and I would love some sort of similar replacement, Best & Less or something similar. It is nice to have access to those basics,” she said.
“I really hope it’s not another big empty store that sits there for a couple of years.
“It’s not a good look for the town to have big empty shops on the main street.
“It would be nice to see it filled with something sooner rather than later.”
Across Australia, between 10 to 25 ‘large format’ Target stores will be closed, alongside 50 Target Country stores, while 10 to 40 large format Target stores and 52 Target Country stores will be converted to Kmart stores.