Target closure not a done deal just yet

Mayors Cr Rick Firman (Temora), Cr Peter Petty (Tenterfield), Cr Liz Innes (Eurobodalla) and Cr Doug Batten (Gilgandra) formed a united front for the Sydney meeting with Target officials.
Mayors Cr Rick Firman (Temora), Cr Peter Petty (Tenterfield), Cr Liz Innes (Eurobodalla) and Cr Doug Batten (Gilgandra) formed a united front for the Sydney meeting with Target officials.

The mayors of Tenterfield, Gilgandra, Eurobodalla and Temora met with Target Australia representatives in Sydney last week to express their concerns with Target announcing the closure of the stores in their communities.

The meeting focused on communicating the importance of the Target stores in the community but also looked at possibilities of different business models Target may be able to explore with community support.

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"It's more than just a retail shop for many communities," Cr Peter Petty said.

"To many towns Target is the only department store and is an essential service for rural and regional communities.

"The closure of Target stores will impact not only the towns they are in but the broader retail catchment areas, as it is not uncommon for shoppers to travel hundreds of kilometres just to shop with Target.

"These stores are just so important to communities and the other retail businesses and services that benefit from the drawing power of Target.

Cr Petty gave credit to Target Australia for meeting with the council representatives and holding a 'frank and open discussion'.

"I appreciate the time and commitment of Target representatives, led by Steven Mann, Head of Corporate Affairs, Kmart Group (Kmart Australia and Target Australia) to meet with the mayors.

"It is important they understand the passion communities have to see Target remain open in their towns."

During the meeting options for alternative business models were openly discussed and the Target contingent agreed to take away the concepts and consider continuing further dialogue to explore ways to keep the stores open.

"Target representatives were non-committal to outcomes of their consideration of the proposals they were presented and were conscious of not setting false expectations that identified stores won't close as planned," Cr Petty said.

"They have agreed to consider the ideas and respond to councils in a timely manner."

The mayoral foursome have made themselves available to meet with representatives of the Wesfarmers board, extending the invitation to include deputy prime minister Michael McCormack and deputy premier John Barilaro as they feel the issue of retaining these department stores is vital to the economic sustainability of their respective communities.

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