SET TO CLOSE: Cootamundra's Target Country store (pictured last year) has been named as one of a number of stores set to be closed down as the company restructures.
Cootamundra has been named on a list of Target and Target Country stores to be closed with a timeframe of early to mid-2021.
Wagga Target is also set to close, leaving the popular store with no presence in our wider region after Target Country stores in Young and Temora shut their doors in recent years.
Local residents are not taking this lying down, taking to social media to express their dissatisfaction at the decision of parent company Wesfarmers.
"It would be such a great loss to our town not only staff wise but the wonderful type of products and prices Target can offer for families," wrote one resident.
"Think about our elderly residents that have no transport or availability to be able to travel outside of Cootamundra (not that you should have to) to do their shopping," wrote another.
Herald journalist Jennette Lees wrote to Wesfarmers and encouraged others to do so. See her letter in full at the conclusion of this story.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke was also quick to throw her support behind the store writing directly to Mr Scott, Managing Director of Wesfarmers.
"Target is the only shop in both Cootamundra and Cowra that provides affordable clothing for the whole family, there are no other stores in town that simultaneously cater to women, men and children," Ms Cooke wrote on her own social media page on Friday evening.
"In recent times Wesfarmers closed Target stores in Temora and Young.
"The impact of these closures was significant on these communities.
"Retail employees lost their jobs. Customers, a large number of them elderly and vulnerable, have been unable to purchase basics such as towels and sheets locally, with the nearest stores close to 100km away.
"The buildings these retailers occupied remain empty - demoralising for the wider community."
Cootamundra residents are encouraged to continue to have their say.
"We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by presenting Wesfarmers with a united voice that our Target store matters to our community and should be retained," Ms Lees said on Saturday morning.
In a statement on the Target Australia website, the business professes "We are proud to have a rich history as an Australian company and we are committed to serving you, our valued customers, now and into the future."
"Let's put our best foot forward by having as many people as possible send an email to Wesfarmers," Ms Lees said.
The email address for Wesfarmers, as listed on their website, is email@example.com.
For those who prefer the postal address is:
Level 14, Brookfield Place Tower 2
123 St Georges Terrace
Perth 6000, Western Australia
Letter to Wesfarmers - written by Jennette Lees
"I'm writing as a member of the community of Cootamundra in regional NSW following your announcement today up to 75 Target stores may close.
I hope to be able to provide reasons why you might see fit to continue the operation of our local Target Country.
While I understand in head office you will be looking at the 'bottom line' of all of the stores to help in your decision-making and that the present time is certainly difficult for all businesses, please understand the importance of our store to our community.
Firstly, it employs a number of people, some of whom have been behind the counter and assisting customers as long-term employees.
Community members also rely on Target to provide quality, affordable clothing for the whole family; there is no other store in our town which caters to men, women and children.
There is no alternate store, for example, to purchase children's underwear, save for a small selection in the supermarket.
I have four children in my care ranging from 14-years to 10-months. As you'd appreciate growing kids need new clothes/underwear/pyjamas on a regular basis. Popping to Target when someone needs new singlets or new tracksuit pants or stockings for school or an outfit to wear to an event is a convenience many parents in Cootamundra have come to rely upon.
The second-nearest Target store to our town is in Wagga, an hour away following the closure in recent years of Young and Temora stores.
If people have to travel to Wagga to go to Target they will do other shopping in the larger centre affecting other small businesses in Cootamundra. They also may not necessarily go to Target in Wagga with Kmart, Big W & Best & Less also on offer, affecting your business.
Leaving the store open in Cootamundra makes sense - you have loyal, long-term employees and customers who will continue to shop in Target as it is the only store of its type in Cootamundra.
The closure of stores in surrounding towns also means loyal Target customers travel to Cootamundra to shop.
This has been a windfall for our community as these same people will often spend money in other shops, eateries, service stations etc.
Our town has been hit by the drought and, like all of Australia, is feeling the effects of the Covid-19 related shutdown, please allow Cootamundra to keep its Target Country store and I, for one, will continue to shop for my family there."