As many as 75 Australian Target and Target Country stores will close and dozens more will be converted to Kmart stores as part of a massive restructure taking place over the next 12 months.
Both affordable, family-focused retailers are owned by Wesfarmers, which also owns Bunnings and Officeworks.
The changes, announced on Friday, include the conversion of up to 40 large-format Target stores to Kmarts, and the closure of 10 to 25 large-format Target stores. Three of those will close this year, with the rest to follow in 2021.
Fifty-two Target Country stores will be converted to smaller-format Kmart stores, and the remaining 50 will trade through Christmas and shut down next calendar year.
“These decisions are in response to the ongoing structural change and disruption which has been occurring in the retail sector in recent years,” Wesfarmers manager director Rob Scott said in a livestream on Friday morning.
“We have seen these changes around the world in retail as customer shopping behaviour evolves.
“Covid-19 is not the cause of this shift but it is accelerating a number of changes.”
Between 1000 and 1300 jobs in stores and Target’s support office may be lost, the ABC confirmed, but Wesfarmers management has promised “redeployment opportunities” in the group’s other businesses.
"During this difficult time, we are committed to supporting our team," a Target spokesperson said in statement. "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."
It’s more devastating news for Australian retail-industry workers, following tens of thousands of job losses due to store closures at General Pants, Gorman, Flight Centre, Just Jeans, Portmans and more in March.