RETAIL giant Kmart has confirmed a new Bathurst store remains a possibility as it continues to expands its reach across NSW.
The department store marked a milestone birthday last week, celebrating 50 years since the first Kmart opened in Burwood, Victoria in 1969.
And while rival Big W recently announced plans to close around one-third of its stores due to tough trading conditions, Kmart is continuing to grow with a new store to open in Griffith in August.
Bathurst is a bigger market than the Riverina city and would also draw shoppers from surrounding towns including Lithgow, Oberon, Mudgee and Blayney.
But working against Bathurst's push for a Kmart would be the fact there is already a store in Orange which draws plenty of Bathurst shoppers, and also that there was previously a Kmart in the city but it closed more than a decade ago and was replaced by Target in the Stockland shopping centre.
Nonetheless, a spokesperson for the company said a return to Bathurst had not been ruled in or out.
"We are always looking for new locations to bring people our everyday low prices, and that includes Bathurst," the spokesperson said.
"At this time we have no announcements, however, if this changes we will advise the community with a formal announcement."
Bathurst Business Chamber president Angus Edwards said Kmart would be a welcome addition to the local business landscape.
"With the concerns about closing some of the Big W stores we would never want to rule out getting these big department stores in town," Mr Edwards said.
"They are large employers and having them here makes Bathurst a bigger shopping destination for visitors from other towns.
"We remember the days when we had to go to Orange to go to Bunning's. We don't want to ever be in the position again where we have to drive to another city just to go to a department store."
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Kmart opened its first store in 1969 at Burwood, Victoria as a discount department store with more than 40,000 items on offer.
The store also contained a supermarket, making it the first one-stop-shop of its kind in Australia.
The opening was very well received with more than 5000 customers through the doors on the first day.
By the end of 1969 Kmart had expanded into NSW, South Australia and Western Australia.