Time to kill Target?
Some humane farmers carry firearms. When they find an animal in distress and that animal is clearly not going to survive, they put the animal out of its misery, drag its carcass to the side of the road and let the birds take care of the rest.
Wouldn’t it be handy for retailers to learn a lesson and bite the bullet when the time comes? And so it should be with Target. Jason Murphy, a prominent economist, believes that Target is likely to limp along for years. The latest results are not good. Strange how companies report their latest profits even if they are losses, like the $195 million loss just posted by Wesfarmers on behalf of Target.
Guy Russo has been put in charge of Target, alongside his long-held role leading the Kmart DDS chain. He says that if he can clean his model, things will come right for Target. Not exactly fighting words there. It’s tantamount to me saying, ‘If I win the lottery I will shout every reader a holiday to the French Riviera’.
The truth of the matter is that Target has become irrelevant – just as Dick Smith (the company) had become before being sent to the gallows. The foreign entrants are simply doing a better job than Target. These include TopShop, Uniqlo, H&M and others. And why would you put Russo in charge of both Target and Kmart when Kmart has partly been the undoing of Target?
The first clash between the All Blacks and the Wallabies took place on August 15, 1903. Since then, New Zealand has beaten Australia on 108 of the 157 occasions.
On June 1, 1982 NSW played its first State of Origin against Queensland. Since then Queensland has won the series about 60 per cent of the time.
I am not suggesting that we give up as New South Welshmen or Australians on the two sports, but the reality is that a) New Zealand is better than Australia when it comes to Rugby Union and b) Queensland is better than NSW when it comes to rugby league.
That analogy is really quite poor. We play sport for pride and there is not a direct financial loss when we lose. Humankind’s fighting spirit and desire to win impels us to keep trying, forever. But business is different. When you lose, you lose money.
Target must accept that it is losing. Wesfarmers must put it down as quickly and as humanely as possible.
Stuart Bennie is a retail consultant at Impact Retailing www.impactretailing.com.au and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0414 631 702.
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