Target confirms jobs to go at Geelong headquarters
Target has confirmed jobs will be lost at its corporate support office in Geelong as it conducts a review of its operations, the Australian Services Union said.
Union officials came out of lengthy talks with Target executives on Friday to confirm the worst fears of its members and the city of Geelong, which has suffered a number of economic setbacks and job losses this year.
ASU Victorian branch secretary Ingrid Stitt said Target had confirmed jobs would be lost from the 1000-strong staff at Target's headquarters in Geelong, but no exact number was given.
It is possible that Target, owned by Wesfarmers, might be able to nominate a redundancy figure next week as part of a sweeping review and restructure of its business.
BusinessDay revealed on Wednesday that Target was reviewing its operations in the wake of a sharp downturn in its sales and profitability in the second half.
Staff cuts have already been made at its marketing department and speculation is mounting that as many as 200 more jobs might be carved out of the business.
The business review is being led by newly appointed Stuart Machin, Target's third boss in two years. The retailer has been hit by excess inventory and a poor start to sales for the second half, exacerbated by the late start to winter.
Wesfarmers shocked investors two weeks ago with a profit downgrade for Target, flagging a potential second-half loss. Chief executive Richard Goyder said full-year earnings before interest and tax at Target would be between $140 million and $160 million, from $148 million in the first half. This could see second-half earnings sink to an $8 million loss or, at the upper end, a $12 million profit.
Wesfarmers also owns Kmart, supermarket chain Coles, hardware group Bunnings and Officeworks.
The potential job losses at Target come at a tough time for the Geelong economy, with car maker Ford to pull out by 2016 with the loss of more than 500 jobs, and another 450 jobs in doubt at Shell with the company planning to sell its local refinery next year.