7 U.S. Retailers that Just Couldn’t Make it in Canada

Here’s a list of 7 other U.S. retailers that just couldn’t make it work in Canada.

Although they appear first on the list, Target isn’t the only U.S. based retailer to come up north with high hopes only to head back with their tails between their legs. Here’s a list of 6 other U.S. retailers that just couldn’t make it work in Canada.



On Friday Jan 15th, Target announced that it was pulling out of Canada. The retailer checked the books and realized they wouldn’t be profitable for another six years, making pulling out the right choice.



On the same day as Target, Sony Canada announced that it too was pulling out of Canada. Poor mobile sales and an already existing channel of big box retail selling products, it seemed almost redundant for Sony to have retail location. When we originally posted that Sony was shuttering retail locations in Canada, most people struggled to place where they actually were located.

Big Lots/Liquidation World


Big Lots entered the Canadian market in the early 2000s — specializing in the selling of discount overstock. In 2011, Big Lots bought Liquidation World, and subsequently closed all 78 stores. Lasting until 2013, Big Lots just never took off.

Sam’s Club


A Walmart company created to go head to head with Costco rose to six major stores in Ontario, but was unable to compete closing all stores in 2009.

Radio Shack 


Back in the day, Radio Shack was the spot! With over 900 locations in Canada, Radio Shack was a major player in the electronics games. In 2004, American electronics retailer Circuit City bough a portion of the franchise and ran out the Canadian licence agreement. Enter the current rebranding of The Source (now owned by Bell Corp).  Radio Shack tried to enter the Canadian market again in 2006 but closed that year. 6) K Mart

K Mart


At one point the U.S. based discount department store had more than 100 Canadian chains before selling Canadian operations to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1998. All K Mart stores were either turned into Zellers or closed.

Columbia House 


If you are older than 20, you probably remember Columbia House. You know, that catalogue that used to show up at your house that would allow you to buy 10 CDs for 99 cents each? This small devision of Columbia Records was huge in the ’80s and ’90s. Surprisingly this service was still available in Canada until 2010, and is still ongoing in the US but with a focus on DVDs.

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