CALLS for Kmart to open a store in the city are gaining momentum with a Facebook page calling people to back the push to ‘Bring Kmart back to Bathurst.’
The Facebook page has close to 800 likes so far and says the city needs a Kmart.
“Please like this page and lets try and get Kmart here. We are losing a few shops around here and we need some more to replace [them]” the page says.
Comments on the page said people like Kmart because it has a bigger range and more competitive prices, with many people also commenting they drive to Orange simply to shop at the store.
Kmart previously had a presence in the city following the closure of Myer in 2004.
But its presence was short-lived. In March 2007, the Coles Myer Group, which own Kmart, announced it was shutting the store to make way for Target.
At the time, the announcement brought to an end months of speculation with a spokesperson for the company saying the rebadged Target store would “clearly offer a greater range of brands and products better suited to Bathurst.”
But a decade on, it appears consumers tastes are changing, with a definite push to have Kmart integrated into the retail streetscape.
Bathurst Chamber of Commerce president Stacey Whittaker said she would welcome another big retailer like Kmart with open arms.
“I certainly think Bathurst is big enough to have another retailer like Kmart,” Mrs Whittaker said.
“Every time we go to Orange we are always running into people from Bathurst shopping in the stores that we don’t have here.
“Bathurst is growing at a rate which is big enough to support another store like Kmart, and not only would it bring a bigger variety of goods, it also brings jobs, which is a great thing.”
Mrs Whittaker said the city also has shopping centres which could easily accommodate the business.
“Just look at the Bathurst City Centre where Dick Smith came out of, or the Centrepoint Shopping Centre. I’m sure the centre would look at remodelling the layout to accommodate something like Kmart,” she said.
“You could change the streetscape and open it up so you could walk through to Coles.”
A spokesperson for Kmart said while there are “no firm plans” to open a store in Bathurst, it was a possibility in the future.
“We are always looking for new locations to bring people our everyday low prices, and that includes Bathurst,” the spokesperson said.
“However, at this time we have no firm plans to open a store there.”