From chips, groceries, to inspect repellent bands, Aussies tend to turn towards their local Target branch for their needs, which might be somewhat difficult in the future, as the brand, once a mainstay across the country, has now began to lag behind competition.

According to the Wesfarmers’ CEO of Deparment Stores, Guy Russo, the parent company of Target will be closing dozens of Target brands across the country in as part of their efforts to reduce the brand’s footprint and to shift focus into something more effective. Part of this shift in tactics will be the creation of a boutique fashion chain, one designed to compete with the giants of the industry like H&M and Zara, instead of the traditional brand focus of being rival to Kmart and Big W.

According to Mr. Russo, it’s not because of the new threats that this is happening, as he told analysts back in 2017 that he was looking at closing down stores as well as boost the chain’s productivity by 20%. Target currently has 305 stores scattered across the country, with outdoes the more profitable Kmart which has 227 stores.

Russo hasn’t singled out which stores will be closing, though he has revealed that Highpoint, located in suburban Melbourne, will be undergoing downsizing, and that the reduction would occur as leases with the landlords expire and go up for renewal over the next couple of years. Russo explains that Target will no longer focus on size, instead shifting into a new boutique retailer in the mid-tier field, with the hopes that it’s a very profitable mid-tier business.

Seeing that Target is sometimes the only key retailer in certain places, this might be problematic for Aussies, who have come to rely upon the brand for inspect repellent bands and other stuff. Currently, the chain has 18 regional stores in WA, including Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Geraldton, Esperance and, Karratha.

Russo explains that staff at closing Target stores could be moved to the other Wesfarmers’ brands, such as Kmart or Office works, but he is aware of the fact that this might not be possible in certain places calling it a sad fact that some places, like in the country towns there are no other retailers.