Kmart customers furious after store rolls out new layout

The controversial layout has angered many shoppers.

Kmart Australia’s latest move has seriously angered shoppers.

The discount retail chain decided to move cash registers from the entrance to the middle of the store, and customers are not happy.

While Kmart began this drastic change back in 2012, the roll out stepped up this week.

Around 165 stores in Australia and New Zealand have been converted, out of a total 228 shops across the two countries. 

But it’s a move that has frustrated many customers, who claim the new format is confusing and chaotic.

Queensland University of Technology retail expert Dr Gary Mortimer, told, ‘The placement of the registers in the centre of the store was a part of a redesign to create ‘worlds’ of merchandise — when they redesigned the new-format store, they’ve put things like home furnishings together, stationery and craft together and they’ve mixed children’s toys, footwear and clothing together to create zones within the store.

‘As part of that decision they’ve also placed the registers in the heart of stores rather than around the perimeter which is really quite different to any other retailer in Australia.

Shoppers have really struggled to comprehend this new location despite having them in place for several years now, because commonly you walk in, select goods and pay on exit.

Dr Mortimer adds that the decision to reverse the layout may be too costly to the retailer. 

‘I would imagine the cost to move the point of sale terminals to the front of stores again would be significant and they’d have to move all of their data and cabling and cash tubes, so I suspect they’ve had a store redesign in mind, they’ve rolled it out and it may be the case where they’ve committed to it in so many stores and that’s why they haven’t retracted.’ 

But it is surprising that despite shoppers’ apparent continued frustration and confusion in relation to register locations they haven’t made that move to the front of stores.’ 


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