|Founded||1926 as Lindsay's Emporium
1968 as Lindsay's Target
1973 as Target.
|Headquarters||North Geelong, Victoria, Australia|
|Number of locations||308|
|Key people||Stuart Machin
|Revenue||A$3.71 billion (2013)|
|Operating income||A$136 million (2013)|
Target Australia Pty Ltd is an Australian department store chain owned by the Wesfarmers Group (formerly by Coles Group). It operates 183 Target stores and 125 Target Country stores across Australia making 308 combined stores with its national store support office located in North Geelong, Victoria. It sells clothing, cosmetics, toys, homewares, electrical and consumer electronics but not food. Rights to the Target logo and name were granted to Myer Emporium Ltd. (later Coles Group), by the Dayton Hudson Corporation (now known as Target Corporation); aside from this, the two companies are unrelated.
In 1926, George Lindsay and Alex McKenzie opened their first store in Geelong selling dress fabrics, manchester and furnishings, and progressively established stores in Victoria, maintaining the policy "Half the Profit, Twice the Turnover". In 1968 Myer Emporium Ltd purchased the chain of 14 stores with the idea of re-inventing the chain as a "discount department store", with the company subsequently renamed Lindsay's Target Pty Ltd. In March 1973, it was renamed Target Australia Pty Ltd. By 1982, Myer was operating 27 supermarkets under the Target brand, but sold these, principally to Coles.
In August 1985, Myer Emporium Ltd and GJ Coles & Coy Ltd merged to become Coles Myer Limited. In 1996, Coles Myer merged the Target and Fosseys brands, and their first specialty store Baby Target was established. Then in 1998, their second speciality store, Target Home opened. Fosseys stores were later renamed Target Country, becoming the third speciality store under the Target name.
In 2001 Target announced its first ever loss, to the sum of $43m. New senior management was soon put in place, with Target repositioning itself from a store directly competing with Coles Myer stablemate Kmart and Woolworths Limited's Big W, to a more stylish, up-market, but still value-for-money, alternative to speciality stores. Store fittings and layouts were altered to reflect this change. In 2006 Target appointed Launa Inman as managing director, named Telstra Business Women of the Year in 2003, a result of her achievements as an apparel retail buyer for the company. Her position saw Target's $32 million loss at the end of 2000 turn into a $68 million profit 18 months later.
In May 2009, Target’s managing director Launa Inman announced a nationwide ban of free plastic bags for Target customers. In the press release, Inman explained:
We all have a role to play in reducing our impact on the environment. One way is to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags in our business. Target stores currently issue over 100 million plastic shopping bags each year to customers and from next Monday this will stop.
In April 2013, Stuart Machin, the former Deputy of Coles, replaced Dene Rogers as Target's managing director. In the first week of October 2013, Target spokesman Jim Cooper announced that the company will reinstate the free availability of plastic shopping bags at all of its stores, citing the receipt of around 500 formal complaints a year as the reason for the change.
Baby Target and Target Home
In 1996, Target introduced Baby Target as a standalone store format specifically for baby products. The concept had limited success. Another format tried by Target was the homewares-themed store Target Home, but was later discontinued. Target Home stores have since been phased out to become larger Target stores, and still stock a larger range of homewares in a number of locations in Australia including Joondalup and Carousel in WA, Edwardstown in SA, Highpoint and Greensborough in VIC, and Warringah Mall in NSW.
Fosseys and Target Country
Fosseys was established in 1926 at George Street, Sydney by Alfred Bristow Fossey and grew to 148 stores throughout Australia, with an annual turnover of $300 million. Coles Myer used the Fosseys brand to unify a range of smaller variety stores trading under a range of other names, including Coles Variety stores, which had been the foundation of GJ Coles & Coy Ltd.
Coles Myer merged the operations of Fosseys with Target in 1996, redesigning Fosseys stores to focus on family apparel retailing in rural Australia. It also introduced Fosseys-branded merchandise with attributes of value, convenience and confidence. By 2001, all Fosseys stores located close to Target stores were closed; the remaining Fosseys stores, rebranded Target Country, continue to focus on apparel sales in smaller towns without full-merchandise Target stores.
As of 1 July 2007, employees of Fosseys (Australia) Pty Ltd were transferred to Target Australia Pty Ltd, and Fosseys as a legal entity was dissolved. As at June 2008, there were 118 Target Country stores throughout Australia.
Target's marketing strategy employs the tag line "Get More. Pay Less.". This is featured in-store and in advertising. Previously, the company used "100% Happy", "We're Not Happy, Unless You Are" and "Target - for Fashion, Quality and Value".
In 2010, Target Australia Pty Ltd became the first Australian company to launch a 3D advertisement in Australian cinema. The advertisement was for the 2010 Toy Sale and received much media interest.
In recent years Target has begun to focus on improving quality of products, and has since advertised the Target Tested campaign. Garments and products that are Target branded come with the Target Tested logo.
Designers for Target
In March 2007, Target launched a 42-piece winter collection designed by Stella McCartney. This exclusive Australian launch was heralded as one of the biggest retail coups of the year, and Australian media noted frenzied activity in Target stores on the morning of the launch. A number of metropolitan stores sold out of the range as soon as 10 minutes after opening, and items from the collection soon began appearing for sale on eBay at inflated prices. Another Stella McCartney collection was released in October 2010, to lesser fanfare.
In May 2007, Target announced its next designer range from Joshua Goot to a mixed reaction, and subsequently produced a collaboration with American designer Zac Posen in April 2008. In the same month, Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan released a range of lingerie labelled the 'Wild Hearts' collection.
In February 2012, Target launched a line of women's lingerie designed by American burlesque dancer and model Dita Von Teese. Throughout 2012, Target also announced designer collaborations for children with Collette Dinnigan and Ksubi and Roberto Cavalli for women.
On October 8, 2014, Target's website almost immediately crashed due to overwhelming demand for Missoni, angering customers who turned to social media to criticize Target. The site continued to be down a day later. Many stores immediately sold out of home, women, men, dog, and baby merchandise.
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