Target Australia

This article is about the Australian subsidiary of Wesfarmers. For the unaffiliated American company, see Target Corporation.
Target Australia Pty Ltd
Industry Retail
Founded 1926 as Empororama
1968 as Lindsay's
1973 as Target.
Headquarters Geelong, VIC, Australia
Number of locations
Key people
Guy Russo
(CEO of Target and Kmart & Managing Director - Target)
Revenue Increase A$ 3.5 billion (2016)[1]
Decrease A$ -195 million (2016)[1]
Total assets Decrease A$ 1.7 billion (2016)
Number of employees
Parent Wesfarmers Group

Target Australia Pty Ltd (formerly Empororama and Lindsay's) is a mid-price department store chain and Australia's largest (by store number), owned by Wesfarmers. It operates 183 Target stores and 125 Target Country stores across Australia making 308 combined stores[2] with its national store support office located in North Geelong, Victoria. An established and well known retailer, the company sells branded clothing, cosmetics, toys, homewares, electrical, fitness and consumer electronics. In 1968, Target Australia, then known as Lindsay’s Target Pty Ltd., adopted the Target name. Despite the similar logo, name and type of outlets, there is no corporate connection to Target in the United States, nor has there ever been one. The reason the United States and Australia can both have Target stores despite having no connection to each other is that trademark law is not international but is on a country-by-country basis.[3]


A Target department store in Castletown Shoppingworld, Townsville, with the old look.

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.[4] In March 1973, it was renamed Target Australia Pty Ltd. By 1982, Myer was operating 27 stores under the Target brand, but sold these, principally to Coles.[5]

Another older Target outlet within the Northgate Shopping Centre, Glenorchy, a northern suburb of Hobart.

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.[6]


Prior to its November 2007 takeover of Coles Group, Wesfarmers stated in August 2007 that it would consider converting some Kmart stores to the Target brand.[7]


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.[8]

In November 2011, Dene Rogers, the former chief executive of North American retailer Sears Canada, replaced Inman as Target's managing director.[9]


In April 2013, Stuart Machin, the former Deputy of Coles, replaced Dene Rogers as Target's managing director.[10] 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.[8]


In 2014, Target began their next chapter by beginning the transition in completely refurbishing their ageing stores from ground up. Their goal was to make an inviting environment that made customers want to spend more time in stores, and encourage loyal customers to bring their kids, relax and dine at their Cafés. Launching in mid 2014, Target Frankston, was the first store to be refurbished with new store layout.[11] Exclusively found at the new transformed stores is personalised T-shirt printing, clothes tailoring, fashion stylist advice and a Target Café.

Throughout 2015, another two stores re-opened at Eastland and Chadstone shopping centre, located in the eastern Melbourne suburbs.

In 2016, these renovations were removed from stores.


On 14 April 2016, it was announced that Target's Store Support Office in Geelong, Victoria would be relocated to Melbourne, resulting in an unspecified number of voluntary and involuntary redundancies.[12]

Also in 2016, parent Wesfarmers re-structured Target and Kmart under a 'Department Stores' division. Kmart managing director Guy Russo was promoted to oversee the role (CEO - Department Stores division). A new managing director under Russo was chosen for Kmart, while candidates are being searched for a Target managing director.

An accounting scandal that created $21 million in fraudulent profits was reported on 11 April 2016.[13]

June 2016

Speaking at a Wesfarmers annual strategy briefing Guy Russo announced that Target would be exiting toy sales, pet care and luggage.[14]

Baby Target and Target Home (discontinued)

A Target store in Greensborough Plaza, Greensborough, a north-eastern suburb of Melbourne. This picture was taken in October 2012, and like many other national chains within this shopping centre, the old Target Home logo remains at the second level entrance (the third level entrance contains the regular Target logo). Because both levels of space used to house a Myer department store, Target has a larger range of products here.

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 and New Zealand including Joondalup and Carousel in WA, Edwardstown in SA, Highpoint and Greensborough in VIC, and Warringah Mall in NSW and Tauranga, North Island.

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. As part of the acquisition of Grace Bros., which had purchased J.B. Young of Queanbeyan who owned Fossey's, Myer and later Coles Myer came to own Fossey's. 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.

A Target Country store in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

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. From the mid 1990s onwards there was a rebranding of some Grace Bros stores in regional NSW to Target. This included a large number of stores which had previously been part of the Dubbo-based Western Stores. Locations which converted from Grace Bros. to Target and then Target Country include Bathurst, Cowra, West Wyalong, Forbes, and Young.

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.[15]

Target Country Charters Towers

In Charters Towers, Queensland the long established Pollard's Store became a Fosseys and is now, most likely the only Target or Target Country store which features leadlight windows.

Target Country Charters Towers, North Queensland 
Shop window display cabinets Target Country Charters Towers, North Queensland 
Exterior Target Country Charters Towers, North Queensland 
Interior Target Country Charters Towers, North Queensland 


Target's marketing strategy employs the slogans "It's Target.". "Higher quality, lower prices". "YAY". These slogans are featured in-store and in advertising.

Previously, the company used "Get More. Pay Less.", "100% Happy", "We're Not Happy, Unless You Are" and "Target - for Fashion, Quality and Value".

TV commercials

In 2010, Target Australia Pty Ltd became the first[16] Australian company to launch a 3D advertisement in Australian cinema. The advertisement was for the 2010 Toy Sale and received much media interest.

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.[17] 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,[18] 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.[19]

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[20] and Ksubi[21] and Roberto Cavalli[22] for women.

In March 2016, Target launched a collection of women's, men's, children's and home wares by Jean-Paul Gaultier.[23]


  1. 1 2 "2015 Full Year Report". Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  2. "Wesfarmers Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Wesfarmers Limited. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  3. "Target has a twin in Australia, but they're not related". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  4. "Target store is right on the target". Sydney Morning Herald. 3 June 1971.
  5. "Coles homes in on Target". Sydney Morning Herald. 14 October 1982.
  6. "Vic businesswomen scoop awards". Sydney Morning Herald. 27 October 2003. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  7. "Wesfarmers plans Coles investment, restructuring". Reuters. 16 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  8. 1 2 Rosemary Anne Sharp (3 October 2013). "Target's plastic bag backdown a loss for the silent majority". The Conversation Australia. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  9. "Target's new chief executive defies the gloom". The Australian. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-26.
  10. Jane Harper (8 April 2013). "Stuart Machin replaces Dene Rogers as Target managing director". Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  11. "Target - Store Refurbishment". Vimeo. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  12. "900 Geelong Target jobs in limbo as new boss Guy Russo searches for Melbourne base". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
  13. Parker, Justine (11 April 2016). "Target accounting scandal: Wesfarmers taking action against staff". ABC Online. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  14. "Massive changes coming to Target". Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  15. "Target Country stores address list" (PDF). Target Australia. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  16. "Target creates Australia's first animated 3D Cinema Commercial". Val Morgan. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  17. "Consumers flock to buy McCartney's Target designs". ABC The World Today. 12 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  18. Hoyer, Melissa (20 May 2007). "Can Josh Goot do a Stella?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  19. Lawrence, Vanessa (2 July 2009). "Undercover agents". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  20. "Collette Dinnigan designs ballet line for Target". 3 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  21. "Ksubi launches kid's collection in collaboration with Target". 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  22. "Cavalli joins forces with Target". 8 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  23. "Review: Jean-Paul Gaultier brings punk and glam to Target". 10 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
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