Fight to save Murgon Target ends with closing date decided
The lengthy fight to save Murgon’s Target Country has sadly come up empty as the retailer confirmed the store will be closing in just two months time.
According to a Target spokeswoman, the difficult decision announced last year to close Target Murgon is final.
“Target Murgon will close on March 20, 2021. We want to thank our Murgon team, the local community and all of our customers for shopping with us over the years and hope they will consider visiting us online at www.target.com.au.
“Our focus is on supporting our team through this time as we work through finding suitable redeployment within other Westfarmers businesses as well as with other employers in town.
“Any permanent team members who we are unable to secure suitable redeployment will have access to all their entitlements.”
In regional Australia, approximately half the Target Country’s were considered suited to being converted to Kmart Hub stores, however they need to meet a range of criteria including network location, population catchments and whether they are large enough to make the Kmart Hub model work.
Unfortunately, due to floor space, Murgon did not meet these requirements.
After the shock announcement in May last year that 75 Target Stores would be closed down and 92 converted into Kmart outlets, the South Burnett Regional Council and Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council joined forces to save the Murgon store from permanent closure.
An online petition launched by Councillor Kathy Duff collected 3553 signatures in total, with 2000 racing to show their support within the first two hours.
“It’s a huge loss for the community because we were hoping we'd get the Kmart hub. Considering the huge amount of support we got from the community, we thought that was enough, but we didn’t have any luck there,” Cr Duff said.
“It was overwhelming the response from across the South Burnett region, as well as from outside the region, including Kilkivan and Goomeri.
“It came out from the petition that the support was overwhelming and people were very disturbed they’d lose key essential products they could only source at the Target Country.”
Councillor Duff said she was particularly concerned for the Cherbourg community who relies on the Target for essential products such as underwear, clothing and towels. Residents will now need to travel to Kingaroy to source their basic needs.
However, considering how strong the demand for the store revealed itself to be in the Murgon area, she is confident another retailer will be quickly inclined to step in and take its place.