New-look Kmart stores revealed
Three new-look Kmart stores have opened as part of a massive overhaul of Target-branded stores announced earlier this year.
The stores, which were previously Target Country, have been converted into K Hubs, a one-stop shop which will allow communities to continue accessing budget items as well as serving as a click and collect outlet for online shopping.
Target Country had long been a staple provider to those who live outside of Australia's cities and the Wesfarmers conglomerate was criticised when it announced about 170 of the struggling division would be either closed or converted into Kmarts.
Cobram, Echuca and Seymour in regional Victoria have already been switched over to the smaller format stores stocked with homewares, clothing and children's items.
More than 50 Target sites will be converted into K Hubs between now and early next year, the group confirmed to news.com.au.
"Things may look a little different to what you'd expect from a Kmart today," a company spokesperson said.
"We've given the store a 'light touch' makeover for now, so that we're not inconveniencing the community with a long store closure.
"Our priority is getting the store up and running so that people still have access to the products they need. But keep an eye out; we have big plans to evolve the look and feel of this store over time."
The company said customers will be able to shop the full Kmart and Target range online to be delivered to their homes or be given the option to click and collect at the K Hub sites.
It also said previous Target staff have been retained and will work in the new smaller format stores.
Queensland University of Technology retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer told news.com.au the transformation was a "very smart" idea to bridge the gap to its popular Target Country footprint while also offering a strong and accessible online channel for shoppers across Australia.
The next phase of the restructure comes after Wesfarmers announced in May up to 167 Target stores could disappear forever.
Under the drastic plan, up to 75 Target stores will be closed down while 92 will be converted into Kmart outlets, meaning around half of Target's 284-odd Australian stores could be affected.
It also revealed $780 million of writedowns on its Kmart Group and industrial and safety branch, and a number of plans designed to "accelerate the growth of Kmart" and "address the unsustainable financial performance of Target".
K HUB STORES TO OPEN
• Ocean Shores Village
• Windsor Town
• Charters Towers
• Noosa Junction
• Port Douglas
• Murray Bridge
• Port Augusta
• Victor Harbor
• Lakes Entrance
Originally published as New look Kmart stores revealed