Target to relocate from Geelong to Melbourne
Russo took the helm of the troubled business in February, after Wesfarmers decided to merge Kmart and Target into one department stores division.
“To ensure Target is profitable and sustainable, some hard decisions have had to be made and we will be restructuring the team to support the future success of the business,” Russo said in a statement.
Members of Target’s Geelong store support office and in above store roles will have the opportunity to apply for voluntary redundancies.
“Where appropriate we will explore avenues for potential redeployment opportunities within the Kmart, Target and broader Wesfarmers businesses.”
Target is yet to identify an appropriate site for the national office, however Russo said he is, “looking at hopefully securing a site that is on the Geelong side of the Westgate Bridge or nearby, close to public transport and a retail hub. This will take some time and I don’t expect us to be moving within the next 12 months”.
“I informed the team that the Geelong site for the national office is no longer a viable option if we’re to remain competitive and build a profitable business for shareholders, customers and the entire 20,000 team members across our store network,” Russo said.
“I understand that Target has been built from the ground up by exceptional people and over 90 years the heart of this retailer still remains its people. I am committed to working side by side with the Target team to create a dynamic, profitable retail business and we will continue to stay connected and play an important role in the Geelong community for many years to come.”
Target has been accused of turning its back on the chain’s 900 Geelong employees by the Victorian branch of the Australian Services Union.
“We fail to see how relocating to Melbourne at great expense will help turn around the company,” branch secretary Ingrid Stitt said in a statement.
Union officials are meeting with its members and Target management today to discuss the relocation plans. The ASU wants details about the likely number of jobs that will be impacted, and Target’s reasons for restructuring.
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