One of Penrith’s most iconic department stores is set to close for good, with Target confirming it will shut its doors early next year.
A staple of the Penrith Plaza for decades, the much-loved department store will close in a matter of months after it was unable to reach a new lease agreement, the Weekender can exclusively reveal.
“Our Penrith store is closing in January 2022,” a Target spokeswoman said.
“We had hoped to retain the store but unfortunately a new lease could not be mutually negotiated.”
It follows months of speculation about the store’s future, sparked after Westfield lodged a development application (DA) earlier this year to convert a portion of the existing Target store to a licenced amusement and entertainment centre.
Earlier this month, Westfield’s owner, Scentre Group Limited, received the green light for the development.
At the time, Scentre Group remained tight-lipped about the impact on the Target store, telling the Weekender it would share more details, including retail updates, “soon”.
The news will come as a major blow to many local shoppers, with the popular department store renowned for its quality and reasonable prices – positioning itself between lower-cost departments stores such as Kmart, and higher-end department stores Myer and David Jones.
To make matters worse, Penrith Target managed to dodge the major cull instigated by its parent company Wesfarmers, which last year announced the closure of 10 to 25 large format Target stores and 50 Target Country stores.
“We’ve made significant efforts to avoid store closures and to retain as many of our talented team members as possible,” the Target spokeswoman said.
“Across the country, we’ve converted more than 90 Target stores to large-format Kmart’s or small-format K Hubs, to help achieve this.”
Scentre Group’s successful $9.1m DA includes changing the rear portion of the Target tenancy to an indoor recreational facility and amusement centre.
Reconfiguration of the existing shopfront and facade fronting Jane and Riley streets is also proposed, while 18 car spaces will be lost to make way for the development.
Target products will still be available to purchase online.
“We remain committed to our customers and aim to still make our products easily available with home delivery and click and collect services,” the Target spokeswoman said.
But for many, it won’t be the same.
Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Senior News Reporter, primarily covering courts and Council issues.