A selection of Kmart’s best-selling Anko products will be available at Target early next year.
The popular range, which was previously Kmart’s exclusive “house brand”, includes home décor, storage and apparel products.
Wesfarmers, the parent company of Target and Kmart Australia, shared the news in its annual results report after announcing that the two stores would merge into a $10 billion mega-company.
The collection will include “household and general items” and will arrive in Target stores “early in the second half of fiscal 2024.”
Anko, which stands for “A New Kind Of”, is well known among regular Kmart shoppers and “represents the change the retailer has undergone since 2008”.
In early 2024, Kmart Australia’s popular Anko products will launch in Target stores.
The different categories make products “clearly identifiable” in stores – ranging from home goods and kids to apparel and fitness.
Long before the brand hit shelves across the country, the retailer offered a wide range of items under multiple &Co brands such as ‘Home&Co’, ‘Kids&Co’, ‘Clothing&Co’ and ‘Active&Co’.
The different categories have made products “clearly identifiable” in stores – ranging from home goods and children’s to clothing and fitness.
In 2018, the discount chain quietly transformed “&Co” into “Anko” after replacing the letter “c” with “k” to “pay homage to where it all began: Kmart Australia”.
Wesfarmers also confirmed that Target “remains profitable” with “relatively better performance in the apparel sector.” However, the trade in houses and toys was considered “difficult” compared to that of clothing.
The introduction will include a range of ‘hardware and general merchandise’ launching in Target stores from the ‘beginning of the second half of fiscal 2024’ (stock image)
The company hopes to “leverage the size of the Kmart group” to support Target in this area.
Brian Walker, CEO of retail consultancy Retail Doctor Group, said news.com.au the phrase “hard house” implies that Anko-branded homewares will be sold at Target.
As a result, customers will be able to enjoy the best of both stores in one place.
The Kmart Group’s business performance is “strong”, as revenue rose 16.5 percent to $10,635 million for the year.
It comes as Wesfarmers announced the merger of Target and Kmart stores to create a $10 billion business aimed at delivering better value to customers.
Ian Bailey, who became Kmart Group chief executive in 2018, said the two stores would still operate as separate brands, with Kmart still focused on price and Target focusing primarily on affordable clothing and soft home furnishings.
He said the changes would happen behind the scenes in areas such as technology and procurement, and there would only be a “handful of layoffs”.
Mr Bailey expects the current cost of living crisis affecting Australians to last a while longer.
“I think value will be really front and center for a long time,” he told the Australian Financial Review.
“What we’re seeing is that when we can consistently offer good products at great prices, then there’s a lot of demand.”
Despite some initial job losses, Bailey expects the overall level of employment to rise within 12 months.
“I would say we’re strong, but I think there’s an opportunity to really capitalize on this time and find ways to continue to deliver better value to customers,” he said.
The merger happened because running the two companies separately made it difficult to improve the use of technology at Target.
“That’s really why we decided to combine the two businesses into one,” Bailey said, adding that the merger is key to improving sales.
“This change allows us to integrate the same technology into Target, as we will get to a point where we will have a single technology stack.”
Mr Bailey, who has been credited with leading the turnaround of Kmart’s fortunes in recent years, said merging the two outlets into a single $10 billion entity would result in significant cost savings and improved of productivity.
Ian Bailey (pictured), who became chief executive of Kmart in 2018, said the two stores would still operate, with Kmart still focused on price and Target primarily focused on affordable clothing and home furnishings
In 2020, 167 Target stores were either permanently closed or converted to Kmarts after the chain suffered a $67 million drop in sales.
Target staff have been offered jobs at Kmart or other Wesfarmers companies including Bunnings and Officeworks.
The closures and conversions would have cost the company between $120 million and $170 million.
An additional $140 million was used to fund one-time store conversion and inventory liquidation costs.
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