Port Douglas Target survives to be rebranded Kmart


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Port Douglas residents will soon get used to shopping at Kmart after Target became the latest casualty of Australia's ailing retail sector, with the owner of the iconic department store, Wesfarmers, announcing the closure or rebranding of more than 160 sites.

Ideally located in the town and next to Coles, Target will be one of 92 of the 167 Target sites earmarked for change and will be converted to Kmart stores. 

It is believed the conversion will take place early 2021, with the store continuing to trade as Target until then.

And Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said this was outstanding news for the shire saying you would not want the store closing at a time like this.

“It is extremely positive to know they have enough confidence in our region to continue the operation of this well used department store.

“Rebranding the Target Country to one of their Kmart stores will ensure continued employment of the staff that work there and ensure locals can be supplied with homewares and other essentials while remaining in our region.

“Now more than ever it’s so important to shop locally to continue employment in the region. BuyDouglas-BuildDouglas #doitindouglas,” said Kerr.

Douglas Chamber of Commerce president Liz Ross said she is delighted that Port Douglas will see a positive result out of this.

“When I first heard that Wesfarmers was looking to reduce a number of their brand stores, Target, I did wonder what would happen with Port Douglas.

“But when I heard that Port Douglas will come under another of their brand names, namely Kmart, I was relieved; more for the staff and for the customers who frequent the shop in Port Douglas,” she said.

Ms Ross said at this time, it is more important than ever to be able to purchase goods locally.

“When the additional travel restrictions were in place, you came very quickly to realise that ‘local stores’ are very important to the community in general. Online is only one option, it should not be seen as the be all and end all.”

Kerr said Target, soon-to-be Kmart, is vital to the township.

“”When people need home wares, such as bedding and other household goods, for example, they do not have to travel to Cairns.

“Also, it keeps people employed in a full-time or casual capacity,” he said.

Ms Ross said COVID-19 has caused a great deal of change for all “and I am really pleased as part of the Chamber to see that the area is not going to lose out and witness another casualty of the current pandemic.”

Kmart Australia Limited is an Australian-based chain of down-market retail stores, owned by Wesfarmers. It operates 234 stores across Australia and New Zealand, consisting of 209 stores in Australia and 25 stores in New Zealand, with its head office located in Mulgrave, Melbourne.


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