Protest on Target
Lower South West residents are banding together in a bid to save Manjimup Target Country from closing in 2021 amid fears it will drive shoppers from town.
Manjimup Chamber of Commerce president Victoria Howe started a petition against the closure after Friday’s announcement.
“This is devastating news for so many reasons,” she said.
“There will be a massive ripple effect if Target closes, people will have to travel to Bunbury to go to Target and while they’re there, they’ll do the rest of their shopping.
“It’ll have a huge negative impact on our economy and community.”
Mrs Howe said she hoped to collect about 2000 signatures on the petition so she could show Target there was a demand for the store in the region.
“I hope the petition is successful but even if it isn’t, I can use the petition to show other businesses and hopefully they would come on board,” she said.
“It’s great to have this united stance.
“The shire has been doing a fantastic job with rejuvenating the town to encourage people to visit and move to the region and something as simple as not having a Target will have a huge effect.”
Manjimup Shire president Paul Omodei encouraged people to sign the petition because Manjimup Target Country also employed a lot of local people.
“This is a matter of great concern and I have to express my deep disappointment, especially in its timing in the middle of the COVID pandemic,” he said.
“The council will do everything humanly possible to keep Target in Manjimup.”
Cr Omodei said he would also be writing to Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott about the importance of industries in small regional communities.
A Target spokeswoman said across the Kmart Group there had been significant effort to avoid store closures and retain employees.
“For impacted store members, we have the benefit of time to help find alternative employment opportunities,” she said.
Find the petition at change.org/TargetManjimup.
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