Moree mayor Katrina Humphries has labelled both Big W and Target "wicked" and "disgraceful", after both companies announced a slew of store closures across the nation.
On Monday Big W announced that 30 stores would be closing, just one month after Target announced that they would be closing up to 60 stores, with early indications suggesting the the closures would be focused on regional and rural locations.
"They have come into our communities full of promises and done very well out of it while squeezing the little bloke out of business," she said.
"But now when the chips are down and people aren't spending as much they are just going to walk away - it is disgraceful, and to do it during a drought is just wicked."
Ms Humphries, who also serves as Chair of the Country Mayors Association, said that the level of concern among "heartland rural towns" can not be underestimated, but also said that "communities need to wake up to themselves as well."
"These companies need to get better business models - look at less operating hours, and even put the prices up a bit - I mean they are selling $4 shirts but they could be keeping locals employed," she said.
"They knocked so many people out of the market and now they are turning their backs on those same communities that paid and paved the way for them.
"The community also needs to take responsibility and stop shopping online - if they want local retailers and local jobs then use it or lose it."
Mrs Humphries comments came on the back of a delegation of four regional mayors who met with Target Australia representatives in Sydney on Tuesday.
The mayors, representing Tenterfield, Gilgandra, Eurobodalla and Temora, who are all set to lose stores, urged the company to consider different business models and remain open in those locations for at least another 12 months.
Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty described the local Target store as "an essential service for rural and regional communities."
"It's more than just a retail shop for many communities; to many towns Target is the only department store and the closure will impact not only the towns they are in but the broader retail catchment areas," he said.
"It is not uncommon for shoppers to travel hundreds of kilometres just to shop - these stores are just so important to communities and the other retail businesses and services that benefit from their drawing power."
Mr Petty gave credit to Target Australia for allowing a "frank and open" discussion about he future of the stores, however did not receive any promises from the corporation.
"Target representatives were non-committal to outcomes .... and were conscious of not setting false expectations that identified stores won't close as planned," he said.
"They have agreed to consider the ideas and respond to Councils in a timely manner."