Target store closures tackled head on by Petty and other mayors

The Tenterfield store is among four country Target outlets set to close later this year. In Tenterfield's case it's scheduled for August.

The closures are part of a strategy Target announced late last year to close 20 per cent of its floor space across Australia.

The affected communities are not taking the news lying down, however. Mayor Peter Petty and Tenterfield Shire Council chief executive Terry Dodds will join their counterparts from Temora, Gilgandra and Eurobodalla in a delegation to meet with the Head of Corporate Affairs for Target and KMart divisions, Steven Mann, in Sydney on April 3.

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Mr Petty said it's bad news for the communities involved, with Gilgandra in particular doing it hard. He said its mayor Doug Batten is a great guy who's doing his utmost to avoid the closure in his town, and he's rallying support from his fellow mayors.

The delegation is open to any ideas on how to keep the stores' doors open, and taking along some of their own.

Mr Petty said Gilgandra could present the option of some sort of community-run enterprise, based on the model of its Bendigo Bank which was threatened with closure. The Gilgandra & District Community Bank is now a branch of Bendigo Bank.

"We just want 12 months' respite to come up with ideas," Mr Petty said.

"No-one wants to see the Tenterfield store closed. I understand it's the only place in town for women to buy bras and knickers."

He's been told that eight workers will be affected should the store close. He's hoping that perhaps even another brand in the Wesfarmers stable could open in its place.

Wesfarmers owns Target along with KMart, OfficeWorks, Bunnings and a slew of other businesses, and part-ownership of Coles, a near-neighbour of Target Tenterfield in Henry Parkes Plaza.

The mayors and council representatives will meet with Mr Mann at Sydney Airport, with Mr Petty and Mr Dodds already in the city for another meeting. 

"We'll do anything we can, and add our political voice," Mr Petty said.

"I expect we'll learn a lot that day, including how they make their decisions regarding store closures."

He suggested the community could get behind a petition, but Gilgandra council is advising its residents to adopt more modern methods such as emailing or calling the corporate head office of Target, and posting videos and stories about how the community values the business.

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