Target Australia Pty Ltd is an Australian department store chain owned by Wesfarmers (formerly by Coles Group). It operates 268 stores with its head office located in North Geelong, Victoria. It sells clothing, cosmetics, toys, homewares, electrical and electronics goods. Rights to the Target logo and name were granted to Myer Emporium Ltd. (now Coles Group), by the Dayton Hudson Corporation (now known as Target Corporation). The Target logo in Australia differs from the U.S. version by the different font, use of lower case letters and the addition of a full stop.
In 2001 Target announced its first ever loss, to the sum of $43m. New senior management was put in place, following which Target repositioned itself from a discount department store (competing with Coles Myer stablemate Kmart and Woolworths Limited's Big W), to a more stylish, value-for-money alternative to a specialty stores. Store fittings and layouts were altered, with Target competing with retailers such as Jeans West, Sportsgirl, and other specialty stores targeted at the teenage, to early thirties market. Target's current managing director is Launa Inman, 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 into a $68 million profit 18 months later when Larry Davis (formally of Sears and Kmart USA) was at the helm.
Preparatory to its November 2007 takeover of Coles Group, Wesfarmers stated in August 2007 as one of its options it would consider converting some Kmart stores to the Target brand.
In 1996, Target introduced Baby Target as a standalone store format specifically for baby products. The concept had limited success and only one Baby Target store still operates, at Golden Grove, South Australia. Another format trialled by Target is the homewares-themed store Target Home, which were stores conjoined to Target stores, but run completely separate to one another. Target Home had limited success in the eastern states, and as a result the concept was not continued. 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 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 July 1, 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.
In Target's advertisements, particularly those on television, the Target logo has for many years been used for transforming into numerous types of merchandises and other objects; surprisingly though, the logo has so far been used as an actual target only once, and then only as a target for a toy gun.
In May 2007 Target announced its next designer range from Josh Goot to a mixed reaction, and would subsequently produce a collaboration with American designer Zac Posen in April 2008. Also in April 2008, Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan released a range of lingerie known as the 'Wild Hearts' collection..