Ian Bailey, the managing director of the Kmart group, which includes Target, said Wesfarmers still believed Target "has a future as a leading retail brand in Australia and is much loved by many customers, but a number of actions and changes are required to ensure it is fit for goal in a competitive, challenging and dynamic market, including a smaller number of stores and a stronger online business".
Target's store support office will also be slimmed down and is facing a "significant reduction".
In addition to bolstering Kmart, this restructuring aims to address what Wesfarmers calls "the unsustainable financial performance of Target".
"We continue to believe that Target has a future as a leading retail brand in Australia and is much loved by many customers, but a number of actions and changes are required to ensure it is fit for objective in a competitive, challenging and dynamic market, including a smaller number of stores and a stronger online business".
There are a number of Target stores in the ACT including at the Canberra Centre, Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Weston Creek.
Following a review into its Target stores, Westfarmers made a decision to convert between 10 and 40 suitable Target and Target Country stores into Kmarts, subject to support from landlords. An additional 52 Target Country stores, which are largely in regional areas, will also be converted to small-format Kmart stores.
Wesfarmers says it will continue to suss out how to operate the remaining Target brand in the future.
"They make billions out of Australians and are turning their back on the most vulnerable ... they don't give a rat's about us", he said today.
"Following the completion of the first phase of the Target review, Kmart Group has identified a number of actions to accelerate the growth of Kmart", the stock market statement said.
Wesfarmers Managing Director Rob Scott said the changes will "enhance the overall position of the Kmart Group" while also "improving the commercial viability of Target".
"Redeployment opportunities in Kmart and other Wesfarmers businesses will minimise the effect of these changes on Target team members", the company said in a statement.
"The changes announced reflect our continued focus on investing in Kmart, a business with a compelling customer offer and strong competitive advantages".
The company began in Geelong in 1926 as a drapery.