Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Opinion On...Target Canada

Target is a store that's much loved by many people. For the longest time, I would see Target purchases and brands featured on different blogs and in magazines. Shopping trips to Target in the US were always successful. So, like many Canadians I was so excited to hear that Target was coming to Canada!

Closing of Zellers (a Canadian chain similar to Wal-Mart and a store that I liked) and watching former Zellers spaces be converted to Target Stores added to the anticipation. The first Target stores in Canada were opened in March of 2013- about two years ago.

Sadly, from the beginning, Targets expansion into Canada was a let down. A number of Target stores did open prior to their projected launch dates, which is normally a good thing. Initial visits to the newly opened stores were disappointing; a lot of empty shelves...inventory hadn't arrived yet. Why open a store early if you don't have the inventory?

After a few months in business and shelves somewhat stocked with inventory- Target Canada always seemed to be in short supply of merchandise- it became clear to consumers that Target Canada was going to be different than the American stores.

The two big draws of Target (in the US) are the inventory and the prices. Target Canada did not carry the same merchandise as American stores; that in it's self is very disappointing. Brands that were exclusive to Target were not always available to Target Canada.

Even if we didn't have the same merchandise as the American Target, us here in Canada could benefit from the great price point that our American counterparts had, right? Wishful thinking! Target Canada was significantly more expensive than prices in the US; this was done on purpose to be competitive with other Canadian retailers ( This blog post nicely illustrates the difference). This did not help Target Canada's bottom line as consumers opted to shop elsewhere. If prices are the same, why stray from where you usually shop?

Target Canada also failed to have an online retail presence. Unlike the American Target, online shopping was not an option. This isn't even the biggest factor in 'online retail presence fail'.  Target Canada's website didn't even show what they had in stock. If you were on their website, they would have, for example, a handful of beauty brands listed, but not specific products or even all of the brands they carried.

Last Thursday, when it was announced that Target Canada would be closing all 133 Canadian locations (and putting 17,000 people out of jobs), there was a lot of disappointment expressed by my co-workers at our office and by my friends on Facebook and Twitter- a lot of people liked Target. No one was surprised that Target was not successful in Canada- the lack of inventory, the high price points, the limited brand selection and the lack of an online presence were all key indicators that Target Canada was not going to be a success.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Lilly Pulitzer was working on a collection for Target. Like all Lilly fans, I was excited! Even if Target Canada wasn't closing, the Lilly for Target likely would not have been available in Canada.


1 comment:

  1. That is crazy that they are going out of business! You would think that the director would have looked at numbers before dealing out all of these locations. It's awesome that you guys are getting Lilly. There are a few locations around here & I love it!