Target pledges worker help

Tari Jeffers and Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Merri-Lea Lawrence will be sorry to see Target Country close.Picture: Jackson Lavell-Lee
Camera IconMerri-Lea Lawrence will be sorry to see Target Country close.Picture: Jackson Lavell-Lee Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Busselton-Dunsborough Times

Target has promised to support employees affected by the 2021 closure of the Busselton site.

It is one of eight WA Target stores that will close in early to mid next year.

Four other WA Target stores will be converted into Kmart sites.

A Target spokeswoman said throughout this difficult time Target was committed to supporting employees.

“All team members in Target stores scheduled for conversion to Kmart will be offered the opportunity to join the growing Kmart team,” she said.

“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.”

Busselton mayor Grant Henley said he understood it was a commercial decision on behalf of Wesfarmers and that it was considered necessary to ensure the company’s long-term sustainability.

“Unfortunately the rebranding to a small format Kmart wasn’t an option in Busselton as we already have a full-sized Kmart,” he said.

“The Country Target store has serviced the Busselton community and neighbouring communities for many years.”

Mr Henley said it could be a positive thing in the long run, with Busselton Central due for a significant expansion in the short term.

“We envisage the building attracting a new tenant or tenants and hopefully opening up employment opportunities for locals,” he said.

Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Smart said the closure of Target offered opportunities for smaller retail businesses to grow.

“I think the retail industry is a hard industry to succeed in and having one less department store in a small town offers more opportunity for smaller local producers,” he said.

“I think that will turn the tables on larger corporate conglomerates and it should put the focus on niche stores. We encourage local consumers to try and support local smaller businesses.”

The City of Busselton had planned for new food and beverage vendors, a play space, lighting and an outdoor screen to reinvigorate Mitchell Park and Busselton Central with new tenants expected to reap the benefits of a transforming CBD.

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