Missing The Target

CONGRATULATIONS to David Littleproud for what must be – at the very least – a top five entry in the week’s list of dumbest economic thought bubbles. Reacting to news of Wesfarmers’ decision to either close or re-badge as K-Marts its 167 Target stores around Australia, the Deputy Nationals leader called for consumers to boycott the doomed chain. Um, they’re already going out of business, David. Until that happens, what good is achieved by jeopardising the employment of its staff? The restructure will mostly take out Target Country stores – hence the third generation Chinchilla pol’s overcooked rhetoric: “They don’t give a rat’s.” The problem with Target is not that Wesfarmers don’t give one; it’s that consumers don’t. Target has been struggling to find oomph in this corner of the retail ecosystem for a long time.

This entry was posted in Economics and economy, Market Economy. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Missing The Target

  1. wal1957

    No wonder Australia is goind down the gurgler.
    Some of our politicians seem to have the mental capacity of an amoeba.

  2. NoFixedAddress

    Perhaps he can declare it an ‘Essential Service” and bring it in as another ‘portfolio’ for The Department of Treasury to run.

    But then again with a name like TARGET the Karen’s must run a mile.

  3. candy

    Boycotting a struggling business about to go under.

    It seems an idiotic thing to say. Can anyone understand it and why is this chap public servant, paid $200,000 to get away with saying such utterly stupid meaningless stuff?

  4. a reader

    I heard that last night and thought I had misheard. He is actually useless

  5. Tom Appleton

    Stockland Shopping Centre Merrylands and Westfield Parramatta are located approximately 2.5 km apart.
    Each has a Kmart and a Target.
    Neither of Target Merrylands or Target Parramatta is listed for closure. I was expecting one at least to close.
    All four stores have recently had stock clearances of men’s and women’s clothing and shoes. Target had reduced some women’s shoes and clothing items to just $5.
    Kmart had men’s and women’s clothing for just $3 and women’s shoes for $2.
    Target and Kmart’s loss was our gain, buying some items at more than 80% off the original sticker price.

  6. Robber Baron

    The sooner he schemes his way to the leadership role, the sooner he will destroy The Nationals and allow a real rural conservative party to fill the void.

    He is the Turnbull of the Nats.

  7. the Deputy Nationals leader called for consumers to boycott the doomed chain

    Yeah I spat some herbal tea out just then. Comedic gold.

    Let’s be serious for a moment: let’s boycott the major parties.

  8. Chris M

    Target USA is quite good. The AU version (which seems not related) is a bit lame in comparison with a limited range of many things and specialises in nothing.

    Kmart AU is an overpriced dollar store full of communist made crude knick knacks, like a tidy Reject Shop / Cheap as Chips store with higher prices. No quality items.

    Shops that sell mostly communist goods can go.

  9. K2

    Ever since K-Mart started selling decent clothes and what not; Target was cooked.

  10. There’s a Target nearby in our rural area and I went in there once thinking that it was like the Targets of old. All it had were women’s and kids clothing.

  11. Bruce of Newcastle

    Littleproud probably doesn’t do his own shopping. If he did he’d know exactly why Wesfarmers is doing this.

    There’s a Kmart and a Target in the shopping centre I go to. When I go into Target there’re few shoppers and the stock is uninteresting. They never seem to have stuff I want to buy. So I go to Kmart, which does almost always has stuff I want to buy which is cheap and fair quality.

    Somehow the corporate systems that Kmart use have made them, like Bunnings, into a good business. Somehow Target’s ones don’t ever seem to quite gel.

  12. lotocoti

    There’s a Target nearby in our rural area …

    Same here.
    Full of stretch knits for the less than svelte.

  13. Shaun

    @Bruce of Newcastle. “Cheap and fair quality”. That is some contradiction you have there.
    I always laugh at BigW advert “better quality at lower prices”. Not sure how you can have that as better quality realistically should cost more.
    Everyone should be trying to buy from locally owned stores and Aussie made goods. As much as the people won’t believe it, the customer is the problem. When they come in to our shop to buy goods, we will push them toward the quality manufactured items which A: will do the job they want, B: has less breakdowns in long run so saves them money, C: spare parts are readily available D: will do the job they want
    The result 99% of the time is the customer just buys on price and takes the cheapest piece of crap available which is made in China and is always a big compromise on what they should have purchased.

  14. Ed Case

    Hammer drills:
    A Dyna Drill will last 20 years, cost >$1,000, no maintenance vs Ozito costs $110, keep filled
    with grease, it will last 10+ years.
    It’s a no brainer.

  15. Ed Case

    … – hence the third generation Chinchilla pol’s overcooked rhetoric: “They don’t give a rat’s.”

    If you showed the average person a picture of Littleproud and asked which of the 4 Parties
    he represents, my guess would be 1. Greens 2. Liberal 3. Labor 4. National Party.
    He’s also in the habit of referring to Australians as ”punters”.
    My understanding is that ”punter” was originally a term for men bargaining on price with
    Victorian Era street prostitutes.

  16. Tel

    Ever since K-Mart started selling decent clothes and what not; Target was cooked.

    Long ago I used to shop at Target for knockabout casual clothing, but I switched to Lowes and never really felt the need to go back. I know that Lowes is to fashion what dad jokes are to standup comedy but that’s OK … because you can get your basic clobber without wading through kids games and frilly knickers and the service is fast and no one hangs around there for a social occasion.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    All I can say Shaun is the local Kmart is full of salt-of-the-earth type customers when I go in there. So they’re doing something right. I live in a bogan area, where I fit right in. I mostly buy clothes from Lowes also, but sometimes I can get stuff at Kmart that Lowes doesn’t stock.

    Bunnings is like this here too, but it’s cultural – when they attempted to break into the UK market they faceplanted majorly.

  18. Andre Lewis

    The poor decision making on the Target chain belongs to Westfarmers’ management. They employed a top operator in Paul Zahra to refocus K Mart and he did the job well, but it cannibalised the consumers who normally bought at Target by directly competing with them on key products.
    A smarter approach would have been to appoint him to head both chains so he could carefully rationalise their product base and promotion. It would have led to the same outcome they face now but done rationally and with much less disruption – oh, and save A$2.5 billion in losses.

  19. nfw

    When Wesfarmers divested itself of most of Coles I thought at the time it should have also included either Target or KMart. They are essentially the same with Kmart flogging the really cheap (never buy again) Chinese crap and Target selling the slightly better crap. By spinning one off it may have given a semblance of competition. But competition is not what Wesfarmers wants does it? Bunnings destroys local hardware stores as it sells more cheap (never buy again) Chinese crap and dominates the market. Then again what can you expect from the Wesfarmers brain trust that blew $1.2 billion of shareholder funds in the failed UK entry? I mean how stupid do you have to be to do that? Oh, that’s right, internal groupthink and crap business plans are always winners when it means The Board can go to all the best Clubs and golf courses in the UK. As ever Wesfarmers, don’t ask the retail shareholders or customers what they might think; management always knows best doesn’t it?

  20. Tim

    David little to be proud of is my local member. As someone above said he is of the turnbull ilk

    He is bloody hopeless, doesnt fight for water infrastructure in what is probably one of Australias driest electorates in Australia. When I wrote to him about doing something about the Bradfield scheme he wrote back and said

    “The government was building dams closer to where it was needed”

    Oddly enough you can build as many dams as you like close to where the water is used, but if you arent getting the rain then there will be no water.
    He also said that the technology has changed since bradfield identified the hells gate area and designed the original scheme.
    Seriously what technology is there in running water from a elevated point to a lower elevation. I wasnt aware the the laws of gravity had changed

    Little to be proud of should resign. He is not representing those that he should be. By the way he is another banker.

  21. Jock

    Wesfarmers have done well out of Coles and Kmart. Target has been the problem as it tried to go a bit upmarket(don’t laugh). They have written off a couple of billion so it is about time they tried the scalpel. I am surprised that wesfarmers have not given total employment numbers for the group as both Coles and Bunnings are booming.

    Why do even conservative (ha) politicians think that a job is a social service and a right? If the business is losing money then no job is safe.

  22. C.L.

    Long ago I used to shop at Target for knockabout casual clothing, but I switched to Lowes and never really felt the need to go back.

    Same here.
    Target used to have a pretty good range. I used to buy knock-about gear, shirts, running/athletic tops etc there. I started to notice about two years ago that the range was becoming total crap and I would more often than not walk out without buying anything.

  23. PB

    I’m surprised that he didn’t demand they apologise. Isn’t everyone supposed to apologise as soon as they’ve opened their mouths these days in case someone got all hurt?

  24. Ms Smith

    Robber Baron
    #3462356, posted on May 23, 2020 at 10:24 pm
    The sooner he schemes his way to the leadership role, the sooner he will destroy The Nationals and allow a real rural conservative party to fill the void.
    He is the Turnbull of the Nats.

    Aw, don’t say that, he’s my local member. I can see through him now. This is such a safe Coalition seat, we are stuck with him.

Comments are closed.