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Australian News

Melbourne shoppers cram stores as lockdown looms


Shoppers have been filmed lining up at a Melbourne market as the city – and the whole state of Victoria – awaits news on tough new restrictions.

It comes as Premier Daniel Andrews prepares to detail a stage 4 lockdown for the capital and new measures through regional communities, with more than 650 new cases of COVID-19 to be announced.

It’s understood that today will mark a new record number of deaths.

Racing.com editor in chief Paul Tatnell shared incredible vision on Twitter on Sunday of the South Melbourne Market.

“Lockdown panic is well and truly alive,” he said. “Shortage of meat and staples already. One shop likened it to the Christmas rush.”

RELATED: Follow our latest coronavirus updates

Supermarkets across the city have seen long queues of people today as news of the imminent lockdown spread.

While details are not yet confirmed, it’s believed that most retail stores and businesses will be forced to close within coming days under the new measures.

Supermarkets, considered essential services, will remain open but under strict social distancing and health rules.

The panic to stuck up on food has seen some ignore social distancing measures.

“Bloody hell. Has everyone suddenly forgotten we’re in this mess because people are congregating like this!!!!!!!! No social distancing whatsoever,” one Twitter user said after seeing Tatnell’s footage.

Images have emerged from all over Melbourne of the panic buying hitting the shelves.

There are also fears of meat shortages due to the panic-buying, spurred on by reports on the ABC that abattoirs could be shut down. Industry experts have assured consumers that this will not impact on supermarket meat supply.

Meat processing facilities have been hit by coronavirus outbreaks.

The latest figures show 99 confirmed cases are linked to Somerville Retail Services in Tottenham, 89 cases to Bertocchi Smallgoods in Thomastown, 76 cases have to JBS in Brooklyn, 50 to Australian Lamb Company in Colac and 10 cases to Don KR Castlemaine.

Indeed, Aussies seem in a rush to get their red meat before the harsher lockdown takes effect.

Yesterday, KFC has reported running out of chicken in multiple stores.

Others have used humour as a coping mechanism, to make fun of the panic-buying.

The press conference is happening soon. Victorians wait with bated breath.





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Business

Unions call for police, defence force to impose masks rules in stores


“If a government announces that masks are mandatory, the police should enforce the law, to do otherwise puts the health and safety of retail workers and shoppers at risk as well as sending a mixed message to the community,” he said.

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“Retail workers should not be required to enforce the law, that is the job of the police.”

The union has asked the state government to ensure police are present in locations such as shopping centres to crack down on unmasked shoppers, and if not enough police are available to do so, to call the Australian Defence Force in to help.

Fellow retail union the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) made similar calls on Tuesday, saying retail employees should leave it up to police or management to handle the issue of wearing of masks in-store.

“That responsibility falls fairly and squarely on the employer, not to staff,” it said. “Security and police should be provided, if need be, to make sure the safety of workers is protected.”

However, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald understand that it will be up to workplaces to enforce the policy, with directions to alert authorities if people do not comply.

On Monday, a number of major Melbourne retailers, including Bunnings, David Jones and Kmart, said they would ban entry for any customers not wearing a mask.

However, major supermarket Woolworths confirmed the business would not refuse service to non-mask wearers because there was a “range of personal circumstances where masks aren’t recommended”. Coles said it would await further clarification from the government.

Security guards at major shopping centres, which are still able to trade under stage three restrictions, will remind customers to wear masks. If any customer refuses, the centres will call police.

Australia’s major retail organisations, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the National Retail Association (NRA), have both recommended retailers refuse entry to non-mask wearers and to call the police if disagreements flare.

“If situations escalate, we remind all retailers to contact your local police as enforcement of these rules is not the responsibility of your staff,” the NRA said.

Victoria Police and the Department of Health did not respond to questions prior to publication.

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News

A full list of all the Target stores closing in Australia, as well as those rebranding to Kmart


More than 160 Target stores are set to close or be rebranded as Kmart, with regional areas the hardest hit.

A further 50 small format Target Country stores will close, in a blow for some regional areas where access to stores is limited.

Another 92 Target stores will be converted to Kmart stores, making a total of 167 stores to be closed or converted.

The move will also affect between 100 and 1000 staff members at stores across the country.

(Graphic: Tara Blancato)

Armidale (early-mid 2021)

Casino Retail Centre (early-mid 2021)

Cootamundra (early-mid 2021)

Deniliquin (early-mid 2021)

Merimbula (early-mid 2021)

Morisset (early-mid 2021)

Murwillumbah (early 2021)

Narrabri (early-mid 2021)

Salamander Bay (early-mid 2021)

Wagga Wagga (early-mid 2021)

Winmalee (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

Ocean Shores Village Centre (early 2021)

Windsor Town S/C (early 2021)

(Graphic: Tara Blancato)

Bacchus Marsh (early-mid 2021)

Bairnsdale (early-mid 2021)

Langwarrin (early-mid 2021)

Maryborough (early-mid 2021)

Myrtleford (early-mid 2021)

Traralgon (early-mid 2021)

Warragul (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

Castlemaine (September 2020)

Lakes Entrance (early 2021)

Beaudesert (early-mid 2021)

Clifton Beach (early-mid 2021)

Longreach (early-mid 2021)

Moranbah (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

Charters Towers (early 2021)

Noosa Junction (early 2021)

Port Douglas (early 2021)

Naracoorte (early-mid 2021)

Port Lincoln (early 2021)

Store to rebrand as Kmart:

Murray Bridge (early 2021)

Port Augusta (early 2021)

Victor Harbor (early 2021)

Karratha (early-mid 2021)

Kununurra (early-mid 2021)

Manjimup (early-mid 2021)

Margaret River (early-mid 2021)

Meadow River (early-mid 2021)

Meadow Springs (August 2020)

Merredin (early-mid 2021)

Narrogin (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

Geraldton (early-mid 2021)

Devonport (early-mid 2021)

Weston Creek (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:



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Australian News

First stores set to close revealed


Some Target shoppers will have just a handful of weeks to prepare before their local store closes forever, or is converted into a Kmart.

On Friday, customers were blindsided by the news parent company Wesfarmers was planning a massive restructure of the struggling discount department store chain.

RELATED: 167 Target stores shut or convert to Kmar t
RELATED: One fatal mistake behind Target’s downfall

Wesfarmers initially revealed up to 75 Target stores could be shut and up to 92 converted into Kmart outlets within a year, although it has since confirmed there will be 53 closures and 53 conversions, with 106 stores across the country affected so far.

But while the company indicated the restructure would be a 12-month process, it has since emerged that some stores will fold as soon as next month.

FIRST TO CLOSE

The Target branch in Pasadena in South Australia has been earmarked for closure by June 2020, followed by Campbelltown in NSW in July and Meadow Springs in Western Australia in August.

The remaining 50 closures are due to take place in early to mid 2021.

Meanwhile, the existing Target branches in Seymour, Echuca and Cobram in Victoria will all become Kmarts in July, with conversions elsewhere in the state in Castlemaine, Kyabram and Wooden due to occur in September.

Most of the other Target stores will be converted into Kmarts by early 2021, with the process due for completion by the middle of the year.

‘CHALLENGING TIMES’

In a statement, managing director of Target Australia Marina Joanou thanked customers for their “continued support and understanding”.

“You may have heard about changes that have been announced regarding the future of Target,” Ms Joanou wrote.

“As a result of these changes, a number of our stores will be leaving the Target family. Some of these stores will be converting to Kmart and, sadly, some will be closing. The majority of these changes will happen next year.

“We understand these closures will affect a lot of people in the Target community and we appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times. We are committed to providing every opportunity for redeployment for our team members who will be affected by these changes.

“We are proud to have a rich history as an Australian company and we are committed to serving you, our valued customers, now and into the future. We have many Target stores which remain unaffected by today’s announcement and you can continue to shop with us online with the same ease and convenience.”

WHICH STORES ARE CLOSING?

So far, Target has confirmed 53 stores across all states and territories except the Northern Territory will close. They include:

• ARMIDALE, NSW: early-mid 2021

• ATHERTON, QLD: early 2021

• BACCHUS MARSH, VIC: early-mid 2021

• BAIRNSDALE, VIC: early-mid 2021

• BEAUDESERT, QLD: early-mid 2021

• BENALLA, VIC: mid 2021

• BILOELA, QLD: early 2021

• BUSSELTON, WA: early 2021

• CAMPBELLTOWN, NSW: Jul 2020

• CASINO RETAIL CENTRE, NSW: early-mid 2021

• CLARE, SA: early-mid 2021

• CLIFTON BEACH, QLD: early-mid 2021

• COLAC, VIC: early-mid 2021

• COOMA, NSW: early-mid 2021

• COOTAMUNDRA, NSW: early-mid 2021

• COROWA, NSW: early-mid 2021

• DENILIQUIN, NSW: early-mid 2021

• DEVONPORT, TAS: early-mid 2021

• EMERALD, QLD: early-mid 2021

• FORBES, NSW: early-mid 2021

• GOONELLABAH, NSW: early 2021

• KARRATHA, WA: early-mid 2021

• KERANG, VIC: early-mid 2021

• KIPPA RING, QLD: early 2021

• KUNUNURRA, WA: early-mid 2021

• LANGWARRIN, VIC: early-mid 2021

• LEETON, NSW: early 2021

• LONGREACH, QLD: early-mid 2021

• MANJIMUP, WA: early-mid 2021

• MARGARET RIVER, WA: early-mid 2021

• MARYBOROUGH, VIC: early-mid 2021

• MEADOW SPRINGS, WA: Aug 2020

• MERIMBULA, NSW: early-mid 2021

• MERREDIN, WA: early-mid 2021

• MILLICENT, SA: early 2021

• MORANBAH, QLD: early-mid 2021

• MORISSET, NSW: early-mid 2021

• MURGON, NSW: early-mid 2021

• MURWILLUMBAH, NSW: early 2021

• MYRTLEFORD, VIC: early-mid 2021

• NARACOORTE, SA: early-mid 2021

• NARRABRI, NSW: early-mid 2021

• NARROGIN, WA: early-mid 2021

• NOWRA, NSW: early-mid 2021

• PASADENA, SA: June 2020

• PORT LINCOLN, SA: early 2021

• SALAMANDER BAY, NSW: early-mid 2021

• SCONE, NSW: early-mid 2021

• TRARALGON, VIC: early-mid 2021

• WAGGA WAGGA, NSW: early-mid 2021

• WARRAGUL, VIC: early-mid 2021

• WESTON CREEK, ACT: early-mid 2021

• WINMALEE, NSW: early-mid 2021

WHICH STORES WILL BECOME KMARTS?

Again, most states and territories are affected except the ACT and Tasmania.

• ARARAT, VIC: early-mid 2021

• AYR, QLD: early-mid 2021

• BEERWAH, QLD: early-mid 2021

• BEGA, NSW: early-mid 2021

• BERRI, SA: early 2021

• BOWEN, QLD: early 2021

• BOWRAL, NSW: early 2021

• CASTLEMAINE, VIC: Sep 2020

• CHARTERS TOWERS, QLD: early 2021

• CHINCHILLA, QLD: early 2021

• COBRAM, VIC: Jul 2020

• DALBY, QLD: early 2021

• ECHUCA, VIC: Jul 2020

• ESPERANCE, WA: early 2021

• GATTON, QLD: early 2021

• GERALDTON, WA: early-mid 2021

• GOONDIWINDI, QLD: early 2021

• GUNNEDAH, NSW: early 2021

• GYMPIE, QLD: early 2021

• HAMILTON, VIC: early 2021

• INGHAM, QLD: early 2021

• KATHERINE, NT: early 2021

• KATOOMBA, NSW: early 2021

• KYABRAM, VIC: Sep 2020

• LAKES ENTRANCE, VIC: early 2021

• LEONGATHA, VIC: early 2021

• MANSFIELD, VIC: early 2021

• MAREEBA, QLD: early 2021

• MOREE, NSW: early 2021

• MUDGEE, NSW: early 2021

• MURRAY BRIDGE, SA: early 2021

• NOOSA JUNCTION, QLD: early 2021

• NORTHAM, WA: early 2021

• OCEAN SHORES VILLAGE CTR, NSW: early 2021

• PICTON, NSW: early 2021

• PINJARRA, WA: early 2021

• PORT AUGUSTA, SA: early 2021

• PORT DOUGLAS, QLD: early 2021

• PORTLAND, VIC: early 2021

• ROMA, QLD: early 2021

• SARINA, QLD: early 2021

• SEYMOUR, VIC: Jul 2020

• STANTHORPE, QLD: early 2021

• TUMUT, NSW: early 2021

• ULLADULLA, NSW: early 2021

• VICTOR HARBOR, SA: early 2021

• WARWICK, QLD: early 2021

• WINDSOR TOWN S/C, NSW: early 2021

• WOODEND, VIC: Sep 2020

• YAMBA, NSW: early 2021

• YARRAWONGA, VIC: early 2021

• YASS, NSW: early 2021

• YEPPOON, QLD: early 2021



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Regional Target stores the heaviest-hit as closures loom — see the full list of impacted sites


More than 160 Target stores across Australia are set to close or be rebranded as Kmarts in another blow to the country’s struggling retail sector.

Most of the impact will be felt by regional Australia, with Target Country stores making up a large number of the total closures.

Target has said it will look to “increase awareness of our online business” in regional locations, but will also “form focus groups of customers from areas without stores to continue to seek their feedback on Target’s broader online offering and how Target can support them post store closures”.

Here’s the full list of Target stores which are set to close or be rebranded, and when:

NSW

Stores to close:

  • Armidale (early-mid 2021)
  • Campbelltown (July 2020)
  • Casino Retail Centre (early-mid 2021)
  • Cooma (early-mid 2021)
  • Cootamundra (early-mid 2021)
  • Corowa (early-mid 2021)
  • Deniliquin (early-mid 2021)
  • Forbes (early-mid 2021)
  • Goonellabah (early 2021)
  • Leeton (early 2021)
  • Merimbula (early-mid 2021)
  • Morisset (early-mid 2021)
  • Murgon (early-mid 2021)
  • Narrabri (early-mid 2021)
  • Nowra (early-mid 2021)
  • Salamander Bay (early-mid 2021)
  • Scone (early-mid 2021)
  • Wagga Wagga (early-mid 2021)
  • Winmalee (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

  • Bega (early-mid 2021)
  • Bowral (early 2021)
  • Gunnedah (early 2021)
  • Katoomba (early 2021)
  • Moree (early 2021)
  • Mudgee (early 2021)
  • Ocean Shores Village Centre (early 2021)
  • Picton (early 2021)
  • Tumut (early 2021)
  • Ulladulla (early 2021)
  • Windsor Town S/C (early 2021)
  • Yamba (early 2021)
  • Yass (early 2021)

Victoria

Stores to close:

  • Bacchus Marsh (early-mid 2021)
  • Bairnsdale (early-mid 2021)
  • Benalla (mid 2021)
  • Colac (early-mid 2021)
  • Kerang (early-mid 2021)
  • Langwarrin (early-mid 2021)
  • Maryborough (early-mid 2021)
  • Myrtleford (early-mid 2021)
  • Traralgon (early-mid 2021)
  • Warragul (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

  • Ararat (early-mid 2021)
  • Castlemaine (September 2020)
  • Cobram (July 2020)
  • Echuca (July 2020)
  • Hamilton (early 2021)
  • Kyabram (September 2020)
  • Lakes Entrance (early 2021)
  • Leongatha (early 2021)
  • Mansfield (early 2021)
  • Portland (early 2021)
  • Seymour (July 2020)
  • Woodend (September 2020)
  • Yarrawonga (early 2021)

Queensland

Stores to close:

  • Atherton (early 2021)
  • Beaudesert (early-mid 2021)
  • Biloela (early 2021)
  • Clifton Beach (early-mid 2021)
  • Emerald (early-mid 2021)
  • Kippa-Ring (early 2021)
  • Longreach (early-mid 2021)
  • Moranbah (early-mid 2021)
  • Murwillumbah (early 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

  • Ayr (early-mid 2021)
  • Beerwah (early-mid 2021)
  • Bowen (early 2021)
  • Charters Towers (early 2021)
  • Chinchilla (early 2021)
  • Dalby (early 2021)
  • Gatton (early 2021)
  • Goondiwindi (early 2021)
  • Gympie (early 2021)
  • Ingham (early 2021)
  • Mareeba (early 2021)
  • Noosa Junction (early 2021)
  • Port Douglas (early 2021)
  • Roma (early 2021)
  • Sarina (early 2021)
  • Stanthorpe (early 2021)
  • Warwick (early 2021)
  • Yeppoon (early 2021)

South Australia

Stores to close:

  • Clare (early-mid 2021)
  • Millicent (early 2021)
  • Naracoorte (early-mid 2021)
  • Pasadena (June 2020)
  • Port Lincoln (early 2021)

Store to rebrand as Kmart:

  • Berri (early 2021)
  • Murray Bridge (early 2021)
  • Port Augusta (early 2021)
  • Victor Harbor (early 2021)

Western Australia

Stores to close:

  • Busselton (early 2021)
  • Karratha (early-mid 2021)
  • Kununurra (early-mid 2021)
  • Manjimup (early-mid 2021)
  • Margaret River (early-mid 2021)
  • Meadow River (early-mid 2021)
  • Meadow Springs (August 2020)
  • Merredin (early-mid 2021)
  • Narrogin (early-mid 2021)

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:

  • Esperance (early 2021)
  • Geraldton (early-mid 2021)
  • Northam (early 2021)
  • Pinjarra (early 2021)

Tasmania

Stores to close:

  • Devonport (early-mid 2021)

ACT

Stores to close:

  • Weston Creek (early-mid 2021)

NT

Stores to rebrand as Kmart:



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Which stores will close or be converted to Kmart?


The full list of Target stores that will close or be converted to Kmarts has been revealed, along with timings for when the moves will take place.

It comes after Aussie shoppers were rocked by the news that up to 167 Target stores across Australia could close within 12 months.

In a note to investors released on May 22, parent company Wesfarmers revealed that up to 75 large format Target stores and Target Country stores could permanently shut, while up to 92 large format Target stores and Target Country stores could be converted into Kmart branches.

Wesfarmers, which owns both Target and Kmart, confirmed the drastic restructure would take place within 12 months, although most action would occur in 2021.

The decision could affect around half of Target’s 284 Australian branches.

RELATED: Target stores to be shut or turned into Kmart
RELATED: Myer set to reopen all stores next week

Wesfarmers also revealed $780 million of writedowns on its Kmart Group and industrial and safety branch, and a number of plans designed to “accelerate the growth of Kmart” and “address the unsustainable financial performance of Target”.

Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said the changes would “enhance the overall position of the Kmart Group, while also improving the commercial viability of Target”.

The company released a list of affected stores across the country on Friday evening, as well as a timeline for when the closure is expected to take place.

The shock announcement comes just weeks after it was revealed that three Target stores across three Australian states were also earmarked for closure.

A Target spokeswoman originally confirmed the store in Pasadena in South Australia would close on May 30, with affected team members informed of the closure in late January.

It will be followed by the closure of the Target branch in Campbelltown in Sydney’s southwest on July 4, with staff of that store informed in early March.

The Meadow Springs shop in Mandurah, Western Australia will also close on August 1, with employees told in mid-January.

‘LOVED BY SO MANY’

In a statement, a Target spokeswoman said the company was minimising job losses where possible.

“During this difficult time, we are committed to supporting our team. Across the Kmart Group we have made a significant effort to avoid store closures and retain our people and for impacted store team members we have the benefit of time to help find alternative employment opportunities,” the spokeswoman said.

“All team members in Target stores scheduled for conversion to Kmart will be offered the opportunity to join the growing Kmart team, for other affected Target team members, we will work with them to identify and offer other redeployment opportunities in Kmart, Catch, Bunnings and Officeworks as these businesses continue to grow.

“We believe that Target has a future as a leading retailer in Australia and we know it is loved by so many, but a number of actions are required to ensure it is fit for purpose in a competitive, challenging and dynamic market, including a smaller number of stores and a stronger online business.”

WHICH STORES ARE CLOSING?

So far, Target has confirmed 53 stores across all states and territories except the Northern Territory will close. They include:

NSW:

• Armidale, early-mid 2021

• Campbelltown, July 2020

• Cooma, early-mid 2021

• Cootamundra, early-mid 2021

• Corowa, early-mid 2021

• Deniliquin, early-mid 2021

• Forbes, early-mid 2021

• Leeton, early 2021

• Merimbula, early-mid 2021

• Morisset, early-mid 2021

• Narrabri, early-mid 2021

• Nowra, early-mid 2021

• Salamander Bay, early-mid 2021

• Scone, early-mid 2021

• Wagga Wagga, early-mid 2021

• Winmalee, early-mid 2021

QLD:

• Atherton, early 2021

• Beaudesert, early-mid 2021

• Biloela, early 2021

• Casino Retail Centre, early-mid 2021

• Clifton Beach, early-mid 2021

• Emerald, early-mid 2021

• Goonellabah, early 2021

• Kippa Ring, early 2021

• Longreach, early-mid 2021

• Moranbah, early-mid 2021

• Murgon, early-mid 2021

• Murwillumbah, early 2021

VICTORIA:

• Bacchus Marsh, early-mid 2021

• Bairnsdale, early-mid 2021

• Benalla, mid 2021

• Colac, early-mid 2021

• Kerang, early-mid 2021

• Langwarrin, early-mid 2021

• Maryborough, early-mid 2021

• Myrtleford, early-mid 2021

• Traralgon, early-mid 2021

• Warragul, early-mid 2021

WA:

• Busselton, early 2021

• Karratha, early-mid 2021

• Kununurra, early-mid 2021

• Manjimup, early-mid 2021

• Margaret River, early-mid 2021

• Meadow Springs, August 2020

• Merredin, early-mid 2021

• Narrogin, early-mid 2021

SA

• Clare, early-mid 2021

• Millicent, early 2021

• Naracoorte, early-mid 2021

• Pasadena, June 2020

• Port Lincoln, early 2021

TASMANIA:

• Davenport, early-mid 2021

ACT:

• Weston Creek, early-mid 2021

WHICH STORES WILL BECOME KMARTS?

Again, most states and territories are affected except the ACT and Tasmania.

VICTORIA:

• Ararat, early-mid 2021

• Castlemaine, September 2020

• Cobram, July 2020

• Echuca, July 2020

• Hamilton, early 2021

• Kyabram, September 2020

• Lakes Entrance, early 2021

• Leongatha, early 2021

• Mansfield, early 2021

• Portland, early 2021

• Seymour, early 2021

• Woodend, September 2020

• Yarrawonga, early 2021

QLD:

• Ayr, early-mid 2021

• Beerwah, early-mid 2021

• Bowen, early 2021

• Charters Towers, early 2021

• Chinchilla, early 2021

• Dalby, early 2021

• Gatton, early 2021

• Goondiwindi, early 2021

• Gympie, early 2021

• Ingham, early 2021

• Mareeba, early 2021

• Noosa Junction, early 2021

• Ocean Shores Village Ctr, early 2021

• Port Douglas, early 2021

• Roma, early 2021

• Sarina, early 2021

• Stanthorpe, early 2021

• Warwick, early 2021

• Yamba, early 2021

• Yeppoon, early 2021

NSW:

• Bega, early-mid 2021

• Bowral, early 2021

• Gunnedah, early 2021

• Katoomba, early 2021

• Moree, early 2021

• Mudgee, early 2021

• Picton, early 2021

• Tumut, early 2021

• Ulladulla, early 2021

• Windsor Town S/C, early 2021

• Yass, early 2021

SA:

• Berri, early 2021

• Murray Bridge, early 2021

• Port Augusta, early 2021

• Victor Harbour, early 2021

WA:

• Esperance, early 2021

• Geraldton, early-mid 2021

• Northam, early 2021

• Pinjarra, early 2021

NT:

• Katherine, early 2021

A message from Target to customers said “we understand these closures will affect a lot of people in the Target community and we appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times.”

“We are committed to providing every opportunity for redeployment for our team members who will be affected by these changes.”

“We are proud to have a rich history as an Australian company and we are committed to serving you, our valued customers, now and into the future. We have many Target stores which remain unaffected by today’s announcement and you can continue to shop with us online with the same ease and convenience.”

Read the full list of frequently asked questions on the Target website here.



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Australia coronavirus live update: Target stores closing as tension over NSW, WA and Qld border closures ramps up – latest | World news


It is 2020, we’re talking about 30 years in advance and a lot of people, I know, set their hair on fire about climate change and all the rest of it, yes, it’s important, for the farmers, it’s important, for their factories, it’s important.

What’s important also is the jobs for here and now and what’s important is we continue on a path to lower emissions, and we’re doing that while at the same time not taxing farmers out of business and making sure as best we can we can have a manufacturing industry, we can have people working in factories and industry and we’re not sending everything offshore to countries where they couldn’t care less about making sure they lower emissions.

We’re doing it in a right and responsible way while at the same time protecting the interests that protect Australia.

This is, of course, another Team Australia moment and of course we want the best outcome, the best environment for those future generations that will follow us.

That’s our legacy.

We will make sure we do it in a right and responsible way, and we are meeting all of our international agreements, like we said we would, and we’re doing it without taxing the hell out of farmers and businesses and families, who have the right to be able to turn on the switch and to get reliable, affordable electricity and power, and that’s why coal is so important and why a range of technologies is so important.

That’s what ministers Pitt and Taylor are working towards, the prime minister is working towards, that is each and every one of our goal.



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Target closes 167 stores in massive company restructure


Australian Target fans are in mourning today after parent company Wesfarmers announced up to 167 stores could disappear forever over the next year.

Under the drastic plan, up to 75 Target stores will be closed down while 92 will be converted into Kmart outlets, which Wesfarmers also owns.

The shock announcement regarding the struggling discount department store chain was made in a note to investors on Friday morning.

It revealed a number of plans designed to “accelerate the growth of Kmart” and “address the unsustainable financial performance of Target”.

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RELATED: Myer set to reopen all stores next week

They include converting “suitable” Target and Target Country stores to Kmart stores, the closure of between 10 to 25 large format Target stores, the closure of the remaining 50 small format Target Country stores, and a “significant restructuring of the Target store support office”.

Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said the changes would “enhance the overall position of the Kmart Group, while also improving the commercial viability of Target”.

“For some time now, the retail sector has seen significant structural change and disruption, and we expect this trend to continue. 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,” Mr Scott said.

“The actions announced reflect our continued focus on investing in Kmart, a business with a compelling customer offer and strong competitive advantages, while also improving the viability of Target by addressing some of its structural challenges by simplifying the business model.

“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 and the pleasing progress in Catch since its acquisition in August 2019. The expansion of our digital offer will provide customers with access to the Kmart and Target products they love, together with over two million products from the Catch marketplace, via home delivery or click and collect.”

A Target spokeswoman told news.com.au in a statement said the decision had been a difficult one.

“The decision to transform the Target store network, and particularly the very difficult decision to close stores, is not one that is made lightly, but one that is necessary to improve the commercial viability of the business and to support the thousands of people we employ,” the spokeswoman said.

“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.

“Our team, customers and communities have always been at the heart of everything we do – and that doesn’t change today.”

The investor note also revealed Wesfarmers expected restructuring costs and provisions in Kmart Group of approximately $120 to $170 million before tax, non-cash impairment in betweeny $430 to $480 million before tax, non-cash impairment in the Industrial and Safety division of approximately $300 million before tax.

Kmart Group is also expected to incur one-off non-operating costs of approximately $120 to $140 million relating to the conversion of stores and stock clearance activity prior to closure or conversion.

The Target restructure is expected to take place over the next 12 months, although most activity is expected to occur next year.

The company also confirmed that while the decision would significantly impact staff, all team members in Target stores scheduled for conversion to Kmart would receive an offer of employment from Kmart, while those from closing stores would be “given consideration for new roles”.

Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey said the company had made a “significant effort to avoid store closures, retain our valued team members, keep serving our customers and supporting our suppliers”.

“Unfortunately, the disruptive and competitive nature of the retail sector requires us to make some difficult decisions to ensure we have a viable Target business into the future, while continuing the strong growth of Kmart and Catch,” Mr Bailey said.

“We continue to believe that Target has a future as a leading retail brand in Australia and is much loved by many customers, but a number of actions and changes are required to ensure it is fit for purpose in a competitive, challenging and dynamic market, including a smaller number of stores and a stronger online business.”



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Australian News

Myer set to reopen all stores next week


Major department store Myer will reopen the rest of its stores across Australia next week, as retailers get back to business amid COVID-19.

The bulk of the retailer’s 60 stores will all be open on Wednesday after almost two-months without customers inside the shops.

All Victorian Myer stores, including at Chadstone and Bourke St, will be among those to reopen.

Some shoppers will get in store sooner with trial stores including in NSW’s Blacktown, Eastgardens and Charlestown opening on Friday.

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Several Myer stores in NSW, Queensland, WA and South Australia have already opened in line with governments’ COVID-19 measures.

Over in WA, the Karrinyup store will open a little later next Saturday as refurbishment works are under way.

The retail giant has ramped up safety and cleaning measures in its stores, and suspended some close contact services like shoe fittings.

While Myer was shut, supermarkets were inundated as Australians headed out for essential shopping.

Coles, Woolworths and Bunnings are among the retailers which reduced shopping hours during the pandemic.

Kmart has been among the retailers to stay open with strict social distancing measures in place.

Workers across the country in various sectors have been sacked as businesses shut to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra previously said retail activity was key to economic recovery.

“Public health and safety is the priority and that will ensure a sustainable recovery rather than a false start,” Mr Zahra said.

“Each state is on a slightly different recovery path and those decisions will be based on local data and expert advice.”



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Kmart Warragul, Manor Lakes, Clayton stores to open as restrictions ease


As Australia’s ailing retail sector grapples with closures across the country, there’s some good news for Kmart fans in Victoria.

The discount department store icon has just revealed three new stores will open in May, flying in the face of recent trends.

Kmart Manor Lakes in Melbourne’s west already opened earlier this month, while a store in the town of Warragul, 102km southeast of Melbourne, opened yesterday along with a new outlet in Papanui in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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And Kmart Clayton is set to open next Thursday, May 21, in Melbourne’s southeast.

A Kmart spokeswoman told news.com.au the company was “so proud” to welcome “four brand new Kmart stores into the family across both Australia and New Zealand”.

“These new stores have allowed us to recruit over 600 new team members and will make everyday living brighter in new communities across Australia and New Zealand,” the spokeswoman said.

“Opening stores in new communities is just one of the ways that we can make shopping more accessible to more people and it’s at the heart of everything we do.

“We appreciate that it’s a challenging time, and we’re excited to be able to provide communities with access to our everyday ethically sourced products at the lowest possible prices while supporting local employment and welcoming new team members into our Kmart family.”

To celebrate the upcoming opening of Kmart Clayton, the company also shared a “behind the scenes” look at the new store in a video featuring state operations manager of Victoria and Tasmania Joel Delaney, head of energy and environment Chris Foley and Kmart Clayton store manager Toby Drewett.

The video shows a sneak peak of the shiny new store as well as interviews with team members, with Mr Delaney describing the opening of the new store as “the most exciting day of the calendar year”.

These four new stores bring the Kmart store network to 214 stores in Australia and 25 stores in New Zealand.

The news comes a month after Kmart revealed it was converting three outlets across the country as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

In April, it was announced Kmart had temporarily closed certain stores in Queensland, NSW and Victoria to the public after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in demand for online orders.

As a result, the retailer has converted some stores in those states into fulfilment centres to meet that increased demand.

Kmart successfully trialled the concept at its Brandon Park store in Victoria and it was then also rolled out at Top Ryde in NSW and Caboolture in Queensland.

A Kmart spokeswoman told news.com.au at the time it was part of a plan to offer customers greater convenience – but stressed the trial involved three of the company’s 240 Australian stores only.

While the specific sites will now be closed to the public for an unknown period of time, staff will still be working to fulfil orders.



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