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Wesfarmers to reposition Target, cuts head office roles

In a move to differentiate itself from sister brand Kmart, department store Target will see an accelerated transformation to offer higher quality apparel, soft homewares and toys.

This shift will reposition the department store to compete against more specialty and middle-market offerings, and could keep Kmart and Target from potentially cannibalising one another’s sales.

As a result, however, approximately 80 head office roles have been restructured. A Target spokesperson confirmed to Inside Retail it is aiming to redeploy some of these staff into other parts of its business, or into the wider Wesfarmers group. 

According to the Herald Sun, Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey said he believed it was the right time to recast Target against higher-quality competitors such as Cotton On, Myer, or Country Road, though at a more affordable price. 

Bailey said Target needed to stand apart from Kmart, and believes the switch will improve the quality of its overall offer. 

The shift comes as a result of Target’s underperformance, having dragged Wesfarmers department store segment down despite Kmart’s sales stabilising in the second half. 

Wesfarmers said Target’s “current offer requires ongoing repositioning.”

The business announced in June last year it was aiming to reduce the number of Target’s bricks-and-mortar locations by 20 per cent by 2023, and would introduce more Kmart stores in order to allow its chains to compliment each other instead of competing for space and customers. 

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