Kmart and Target are merging.
In a bid to reduce running costs, the popular pair of discount retail stores will soon share back-end operations, making it a $10 billion business.
The move, announced on Monday, will see Target folded into Kmart, creating a dual-brand retail giant.
As management merge, staff and shoppers are being assured there will be little other visible changes.
Kmart managing director Ian Bailey will remain in his role, while Target MD Richard Pearson will move elsewhere within the Wesfarmers Group.
Kmart CEO John Gualtieri is set to run both stores’ day-to-day operations.
While they may have different shopfronts, uniforms, and logos, Kmart and Target have been sister stores for many years.
Both are owned by Wesfarmers and both make up the Kmart Group, operating 452 stores across Australia and New Zealand.
Combined, they employ more than 50,000 team members.
Kmart was established in 1969, with the opening of its first store in Burwood, Victoria.
Target began as a drapery store in 1926 in Geelong, Victoria.
The brand’s other businesses include Officeworks, Bunnings, Beaumont Tiles, Priceline, Soul Pattison, Catch and FlyBuys.
Many are seeing the move as confirmation that Australia’s increasing cost of living is putting additional pressures on middle to low-income earners.
It follows the news fellow retail giant Best and Less is suffering crippling profit losses of late.
In fact, a cost of living report produced by Budget Direct ranked Newcastle the eighth most expensive city in Australia.
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