Target’s Empty Shelves Leaves Shoppers ‘Devastated’

If you’ve stepped inside your local Target lately, you may notice it’s looking a little barer than usual. Not only has the Christmas stock been cleared away for back-to-school buys, but take a look around and you’ll see empty shelf after empty shelf. What’s the deal?

The empty shelves are the first sign of the new look of Target which will feature a popular brand – Anko! That’s right. Anko is expanding, and the decision has divided shoppers, with some devastated about the move and others eager to welcome the budget brand with open arms.

A New Kind Of… Target

Anyone who shops at Kmart knows Anko. It’s Kmart’s ‘home’ brand which stands for A New Kind Of and odds are, you have at least one item in your home that dons this label.

But why is Anko now being stocked in Target? Both stores are both owned by the same company  – Wesfarmers.  While both mega stores are successful, Kmart is winning the race, especially in homewares and toys.

Wesfarmers made the decision earlier this year to merge the two stores into one $10 billion mega business.

kmart target rebrand
Source: Bigstock

Approximately a quarter of Target’s “hard-home” stock, which includes items such as decor, small furniture and appliances, will be replaced by Anko versions in early 2024.

One of the stand-out features of Anko is that it is incredibly affordable, but sometimes the quality can be compromised. Meanwhile, Target’s current range of homewares may be priced higher but many shoppers are more than happy to pay for the quality.

‘The collab we don’t need’

From the recent photos taken by shoppers, it would appear the transformation is already in place. One customer shared photos of the very bare shelves on her local shop.

Anko in Target
Watch out for Anko in Target. Source: TikTok

“This is Target …” the woman wrote in the Kmart Hacks and Decor Facebook group. “Talking to the staff it appears that Target is losing their electrical and homewares section and replacing it with Kmart’s Anko range …. WTF !!!”

TikTok is rife with comments about the Kmart/Target confusion and many admit that they don’t like the idea.

“All of the homewares are gone, most of the baby products are gone. There’s just gaps all throughout the store,” another shopper said before adding she was “devastated” by the development.

“As if Kmart doesn’t have enough storefronts already.” 

“So sad. Target stuff is better quality than Kmart.” 

“I’m so disappointed, Target’s kids clothes – even the women’s – are so much better than Kmart. Hopefully they keep the clothing.”

“The collab we don’t need.” 

However, not everyone is against seeing Anko in Target stores, especially if you do love the Anko brand.

Anko in USA
A new kind of.. everything. Source: Instagram (ankousa)

Ian Bailey, who became the managing director of Kmart Group in 2018, said the two stores will still operate as separate brands, with Kmart still being price-driven and Target mainly centred on affordable clothes and soft home furnishings.

He also shared that many customers have shared their excitement about this merger.

“We had great feedback from customers, we had very encouraging sales. So I think we’ve got lots of reasons to be optimistic.”

The Rise of Anko 

Love, loath or mildly like Anko, there’s no denying that Anko is everywhere.

It will be interesting to see if it remains as popular with Target shoppers. What are your thoughts? Are you happy to see Anko in your local store or would you prefer Anko remained a Kmart brand only?

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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