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How Kmart owner Wesfarmers became one of Australia’s largest business empires

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Amelie Hall
Amelie Hall
Amelie Hall is a reporter covering business and entrepreneurial topics. Originally from the US, Alelie is a local journalist based in Melbourne. She has a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and she studied French and Latin American literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Wesfarmers Limited is one of the largest Australian conglomerations ever. Its headquarter is in the Western Australia capital city of Perth. It is mainly an Australian and New Zealand conglomeration of business that deals in sectors like coal mining, industrial products, chemical, fertilisers, and retail.

Wesfarmers is one of the wealthiest companies and commonly listed in top business listings worldwide. It has remained the largest company in Australia in terms of revenue, ahead of BHP and Woolworths Corp.

It is also the biggest private employers in all of Australia, being home to around 220,000 employees. It was first founded in 1914 was a wartime co-operative that helped Western Australian farmers. In 1984 it was listed on the ASX and became the huge retail conglomeration it is today.

One of Wesfarmers biggest businesses is undoubtedly Bunnings Warehouse, a home hardware retail chain that is famous for its weekend sausage sizzles. The Bunnings brand successfully took over the market share of the home DIY hardware sector, forcing its lead competitor out of business by offering a more approachable way for people to purchase and make use of home hardware DIY products.

It is also known for its ownership and operation of Kmart and Target department stores. Kmart is aimed at discount products, while Target is more mid-range with its prices.

Wesfarmers is also known for its ownership and operation of Officeworks. Officeworks is an office supply store that is specialising in selling things like stationery, printers, camera film, and other things that an office or home office might need.

Wesfarmers remains a strong force in the Australian retail landscape and is well respected for the number of businesses it brings to the table. Australians love visiting stores like Kmart, Target, Officeworks and Bunnings Warehouse.

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