NARRABRI Shire Council hopes people power can save the town's Target Country store.
Parent company, Wesfarmers, announced the outlet would be one of 50 to close as part of a nationwide restructure. The council has launched a community-driven petition to try and save the store and local jobs. Narrabri mayor Cathy Redding said it would help to demonstrate the store's value to the community.
"This decision has come as a shock as council had been advised not so long ago when other Target store closures were occurring that the Narrabri Target Country store was doing well and was not earmarked for closure," Cr Redding said.
Cr Redding said while the council understood Wesfarmers' decision, the council would exhaust all avenues to have that decision reviewed, or investigate alternative solutions.
"We understand this is a business decision to close all 160 stores however, that will not stop us fighting very hard for the Narrabri store to remain open," she said.
"We have such a wonderful future ahead of us and I have made this clear in my correspondence to the managing director of Target Australia.
"We will follow up providing them with the results of the community petition, which has been initiated this week."
Narrabri was not the only community within the region affected by Wesfarmers' decision. Armidale's store will close, while Gunnedah and Moree's Target outlets will be converted into K-Mart hub stores.
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said he sympathised with his neighbouring council.
"Gunnedah is very fortunate to be transitioning from a Target Country to a K-Mart," Cr Chaffey said.
"We find ourselves in a very fortunate position, in comparison to some other councils across the state, and I feel for the Narrabri community, which is losing a major retailer.
"I understand completely why the council has taken the action of launching a petition for the community and I wish them well in their campaign to get the decision overturned."
Cr Chaffey said he was confident the Gunnedah community would embrace its revamped K-Mart outlet.
"I think it's pleasing to know they are committed to coming to Gunnedah, staying in the same location, which means there won't be an empty shop, and will still employ local people," he said.
Wesfarmers has been contacted for comment.
To sign the council's petition, visit the Narrabri Shire Council's website, Facebook page or call 6799 6866.