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Target Cut 80 Office Jobs Amid Premium Push

Target is reportedly axing 80 head office jobs, as the embattled department store seeks to lift its market profile towards a more premium product stance.

In an exclusive report by The Australianthe Wesfarmers entity will attempt to re-assign staff where feasible.

The news follows a strategic re-position over the next two to three years, combating price competition from the likes of Kmart and Big W.

In early June, Wesfarmers announced it was purchasing online discount retailer, Catch Group, in a $230 million deal, alongside a ramp up in the digital capabilities of Target and Kmart.

Last year, Target Australia announced it was closing more stores, or re-branding to Kmart outlets, as the company sought to turnaround sluggish sales.

In May 2018, Wesfarmers Chief Executive, Rob Scott, admitted there was “still a lot of work” to do at Target, coupled with claims it was reducing the length of Target’s national leases – establishing a “smaller, more profitable network.”

The news comes as Woolworths-owned discount department store, Big W, continues to struggle, alongside rumours its parent is shopping for a buyer.

Back in April, reports broke Big W would shut one third of its 183 stores, with Woolworths Chief Executive, Brad Banducci, previously not ruling out a sale of the discount retailer.

Like Wesfarmers, Woolworths has committed to supporting affected team members, exploring redeployment opportunities where feasible.

As per its recent earnings report, same store sales at Target marginally lift 0.5% for the first-half, with overall sales up 0.2%.

Last year, Target reported total impairments of over $300 million – against the carrying value of its brand, goodwill, equipment and property.

Shares in Wesfarmers are down 3.51% to $37.63 just prior to 4:00pm AEST.

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