A Target store is set to replace Kmart’s Warrawong outlet by the end of the year, according to Westfield Warrawong.
Westfield corporate affairs manager Julia Clarke announced Target was in line to make the move to Warrawong.
“It’s a normal part of business that retailers change from time to time, and we believe Target will be an ideal addition to Warrawong’s retail mix, and to the city of Wollongong,” Ms Clarke said, in a statement released this afternoon.
Kmart employee were told at the beginning of the month the store would close. They were informed they would need to re-apply to retain their jobs at the new store.
A spokesperson for Kmart said efforts were being made to prevent job losses among the 133 people employed.
“The main thing is ensuring our team has a smooth transition and is looked after,” the spokesperson said.
“We don’t have a closure date yet, we believe it may be some time in June.”
Steve Dostinoski, an employee at the store, was unhappy abut being asked to re-apply for his job.
“We have known [K-mart] would close since last year, but a couple of weeks ago we were told. We should get our job automatically, Target is the same company,” he said.
Kmart, owned by Wesfarmers, is closing its Warrawong branch after failing to secure a new lease with Westfield. Their current lease expires in September.
The planned changes have been submitted to the city council but do not yet have approval.
Words: Dean Johnson
Photos: Ashley Mumford
Audio: Ben Neutze