Up to 900 jobs at Target’s Geelong headquarters are in limbo after the retailer flagged plans to close its Geelong centre and relocate to Melbourne.
Senior management on Thursday told workers at its Geelong headquarters that the centre will be relocated to an unspecified location in Melbourne’s west.
It’s unclear how the move will affect the centre’s 900 workers or how many jobs will be cut, as employees are still waiting for more details, an Australian Services Union spokeswoman told AAP.
The union’s Victorian branch has accused Target of turning its back on Geelong.
“It is utterly reprehensible that workers at Target are the ones paying the price for the highly questionable business practices of the former management team,” Victorian secretary Ingrid Stitt said in a statement.
“This is a dark day for Geelong and the wider Geelong community.”
In his last hours as the mayor of Geelong, Darren Lyons said he was “disappointed and disheartened” by Target’s plans.
“I understand this is a business decision, but that does not make it any easier for our region,” he said in a statement.
The new head of Target, Guy Russo, says management have had to make hard decisions to make sure Target is profitable and sustainable.
“The Geelong site for the national office is no longer a viable option if we’re to remain competitive and build a profitable business,” he said in a statement.
Employees will have the option of voluntary redundancies or redeployment at other Kmart or Target sites, as well as other Wesfarmers businesses, Mr Russo said.
The state opposition says the closure of Target’s Geelong offices shows the government is not doing enough to create jobs in Victoria.
“Victoria is being smashed by New South Wales when it comes to creating new jobs,” opposition spokesman Michael O’Brien said in a statement.