Susan Stokes ran an independent grocery store in Emerald for 11 years; she said the closure of Target shops will result in more online shopping
Susan Stokes ran an independent grocery store in Emerald for 11 years; she said the closure of Target shops will result in more online shopping

Target changes: ‘People are left with no choice’

Susan Stokes is very familiar with the “small format Target” shoppers who are shocked to learn up to 75 stores will close.

Having managed independent supermarkets in Emerald for 11 years, Ms Stokes said a lack of pricing competition would be “very sad” for families doing it tough.

“The problem is people are left with no choice,” she said.

“The big chains can’t set prices or respond to shoppers the way independent stores can.”

Target’s announcement to close or rebrand stores across the country promised the expansion of its digital offer to provide customers with access to the Kmart and Target products, as well as two million products from the Catch marketplace, via home delivery or click and collect.

In CQ, Target Rockhampton will be unaffected, but Emerald’s Target store will close and Yepoon’s will be rebranded to a Kmart hub store.

How will the closure of Target shops affect CQ shoppers?
How will the closure of Target shops affect CQ shoppers?

Ms Stokes, who has been shopping at South Rockhampton’s Target store since she moved 10 years ago, said she never shopped online.

“I don’t believe in it,” she said.

“I think people want face-to-face contact and that provides employment for local people.”

Ms Stokes said that too many businesses were in the habit of doing a “corporate clean out” of staff, and she knew many people who had lost their jobs as a result.

“It’s not about economics; it’s about mismanagement,” she said.

“It’s very sad that, at the end of the day, it’s staff and shoppers who miss out.”