Target Canada has seen its fair share of problems. They expanded very quickly – they launched their Canadian stores in March 2013 and already have 133 stores, their Canadian CEO stepped down, they lost almost $1 billion dollars in their Canadian expansion and customers constantly complained about empty shelves and poor customer service. Last year, they tried to redeem themselves by sending a heartfelt apology to their Canadian shoppers. They also set to improve guest experience by offering price matching with their competitors, new products and promises of full shelves. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Rumours about the closing started buzzing in the industry around May 2014 and this morning, Target announced they plan to discontinue all Target Canada Operations.
“When I joined Target, I promised our team and shareholders that I would take a hard look at our business and operations in an effort to improve our performance and transform our company. After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021. Personally, this was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision for our company. With the full support of Target Corporation’s Board of Directors, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our business and our shareholders to exit the Canadian market and focus on driving growth and building further momentum in our U.S. business,” said Brian Cornell, Target Corporation Chairman and CEO said is a release. The decision seems like the best, as Target Canada has forecasted a loss of $5.4 billion before tax in their forth quarter for 2014.
Right now, Target Canada employs approximately 17,600 people. They are currently seeking the Court’s approval to voluntarily make cash contributions of $70 million into an employee trust – if approved, Target Canada-based employees will receive at least 16 weeks of compensation, including wages and benefits.
There are no final dates on when we can expect the Minneapolis-born retailer to exit Canada. All we know is that Target Canada stores will remain open during the liquidation process, so expect some major sales soon! We have so many questions we need answers for! Will Canadians still be able to shop Target’s new designer collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer? Does this mean Zellers could be coming back? Only time will tell.