Griffith City Council have confirmed they have not received a development application from Kmart, but the retail giants have kept the possibility of a future move to the MIA open.
Speculation about Kmart’s arrival has been rife since a Kmart coming soon sign appeared in a vacant lot on Banna Ave, near the soon-to-be-closed Big W store on Friday morning.
The sign is not identical to the actual Kmart logo and may be fake.
The Area News contacted Kmart to ask whether the sign was legitimate, and whether they have any plans to open shop at the site of the Big W store or elsewhere in town.
A Kmart spokesperson said this in reply, “we are always looking for new locations to bring people our everyday low prices, and that includes Griffith”.
“At this time we have no firm announcements, however if this changes we will advise the community with a formal announcement.”
Kmart would not confirm whether or not their company put up the sign.
After almost 40 years in town, Big W announced on Thursday it will close its doors in Griffith.
The final day of trading is scheduled for April 15.
Many have speculated Kmart will replace it.
Samantha Tyrrell, 31, doesn’t see that as a great swap.
“I prefer Big W. While their products aren’t as cheap as Kmart, they are better quality… I’d rather pay $7 for something in Big W that’s going to last, rather than $3 at Kmart knowing I have to replace it.
Ms Tyrrell has been shopping at Big W for 16 years, and thinks the closure is devastating news for the town.
Natasha Hodder agrees, and says there’s a need for a campaign to keep Big W in Griffith.
“I know a lot of the workers there, they are really scared about their future”.
A spokeswoman for the company confirmed they were meeting with staff to explore options, including the option of redundancy for permanent team members and relocation to other stores and Woolworths brands.
Big W’s landlord has been contacted regarding the identity of the new business, but was unavailable for comment.
The store’s loss comes following news the chain suffered a $150 million loss in the 2016-17 financial year.
More to come.
The Area News questions to Kmart
1. A Kmart coming soon sign (attached) has been spotted in Griffith NSW. Can you confirm Kmart put this sign up (as opposed to pranksters)?
2. Are there any plans for Kmart to open a store in Griffith? If so when?
3. Can you confirm whether the Kmart store may be located on the site on the soon-to-close Big W?
We are always looking for new locations to bring people our everyday low prices, and that includes Griffith. At this time we have no firm announcements, however if this changes we will advise the community with a formal announcement.