Target Canada off the mark from the start
FEW readers were surprised when Target announced it will be closing its Canadian stores, with many saying the retail giant failed to match the merchandise and setup of its stores in the United States. Too bad they were never able to replicate the American experience and product line that many Canadians were hoping for. I wonder what will happen to the new Polo Park store? I feel bad for those who will experience job loss as a result of this. The product selection is much better at Target south of the 49th parallel than it is here. If you are going to run your business at two-thirds of what they have only two hours away, what’s the point? This one will be a case study in ineptness in business schools for decades. They had the Canadian market’s attention when they opened, but they dropped the ball in so many ways. It was ripe for them at the beginning, but their lack of product-line selection and inventory problems soured the market and did irreparable damage to their reputation here. Total business failure, to be put squarely on the heads of the brain trust at corporate headquarters. Not surprised. Too much competition with Walmart, which is well-established after all these years. And Target’s selection of goods and the layout of the store were very poor.
I feel sorry for all those about to be unemployed. They bought Zellers locations out because they were going under. The Zellers employees were losing their jobs. Target delayed the inevitable. Sears is next. Or the Bay. The old anchor stores are dying because of the Walmart juggernaut. I’m not at all surprised. The first and only time I went to Target in Winnipeg was in December 2013. I was greeted with high prices and empty shelves. I also didn’t like the setup of the store. Way too long shelving displays strategically set up so that when you finally found your way around it, you encountered yet another blocking your way, making you walk practically to the front or the back of the store to get around that one, only to encounter yet another. Certainly not the experience I have when I go to Target in Grand Forks. I’m going to go out on a limb and say too many assumptions were made prior to such a huge investment. They probably should have started small to learn how their brand and sales strategies would go over here. I suspect many Canadians were expecting the same store they enjoyed in the U.S. When the Canadian consumer discovered it was nothing like that, they returned to their usual shopping destinations. This is a great example of managers and executives making terrible decisions and wasting a lot of time, resources and energy. Clearly managers can drag a company under. This is terrible for all the workers and families involved. They are not just numbers. Sad.