Fate of Central Queensland Target stores revealed
UPDATE: The fate of three of Central Queensland's four Target stores has been revealed.
It is understood while Target Rockhampton will be unaffected by the change, Target Country Yeppoon will be converted to a Kmart hub store.
In a devastating blow for the Emerald community, the town's Target Country store will close its doors.
The fate of the Biloela store is at this stage unknown.
INITIAL: FOUR Target stores throughout Central Queensland face an uncertain future after parent company Wesfarmers today announced up to 167 locations could vanish.
Under a drastic new plan, Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott revealed to investors that up to 75 stores would close down, while 92 would be converted into Wesfarmer-owned Kmart outlets.
Mr Scott said "suitable" Target and Target Country stores would be converted into Kmart stores, while between 10 to 25 large format Target stores and its remaining 50 small format Target Country stores would close.
A "significant restructuring of the Target store support office" is also expected to occur as the company looks to grow its online presence.
Central Queensland is home to one large format Target at Rockhampton's City Centre Plaza, along with three Target Country stores at Biloela, Emerald and Yeppoon.
Feedback from Central Queensland shoppers suggests Target Country's Yeppoon site will likely survive under the new format, while Emerald may struggle.
However, it is unknown at this time whether any of the four stores will be impacted.
Conversations with national teams reportedly commenced yesterday, though local representatives were unable to comment on the matter.
City Centre Plaza co-owner, Joe Baladi of SB Investments, said to his knowledge Target had yet to identify which stores would close.
"Until we hear otherwise, Target Rockhampton is well and truly open for business. We've made it our priority to provide a clean and safe shopping experience at City Centre Plaza and will continue to do so," he said.
"Target is an important part of City Centre Plaza and they're here on a long-term lease. We look forward to working with them for a long time to come."
A Target spokeswoman said in a statement Friday morning the decision had not been made lightly.
Despite this, she admitted it was a necessary step to improve the commercial viability of the business and to support its employees.
"Our number one priority is talking to and supporting our teams. The majority of these changes will occur next year, and we are committed to looking for redeployment opportunities for affected team members in Kmart, Catch and other Wesfarmers businesses, including guaranteeing job offers to all Target team members in converted stores.