This morning, I heard news that Target Canada is discontinuing all their operations in Canada after barely two years since they opened. Target Canada closes stores immediately, but they will remain open for liquidation. (Hello, time to furnish and decorate my apartment!) The mass retailer lost $1 Billion after their first year here in Canada, and have applied for creditor protection. This news makes me a bit sad, because I really enjoyed shopping their designer collaborations and stunning home selection.
I think we’ve all held our breaths for a while, expecting that Target Canada would close stores after a less than perfect launch in Canada, but I never expected they would throw in the towel so soon. Many times, the shelves were empty, and advertised products/lines were never in stores. There wasn’t enough selection on the shelves, and shoppers, with expectations from south of the border were disappointed. I always shop at the Lewiston NY Target, and find it pilfered as well, however, there was a lot more variety in merchandise on the shelves. Target Canada for me was hit or miss. At times, the shelves were stocked and neat, and other times, the store was understaffed and piles of clothing were left in shopping carts near the changing room. There was a lack of customer interaction on the sales floor, however, I found that checking out at Target was always a breeze and customer service was very accommodating for checking up on clearance prices or making returns, so I have no complaints there.
Another mistake for Target Canada was not having an online shop. As Walmart and the Bay increased their online shopping experience, Target as a competitor, didn’t have the supply chain to stock its stores, nevermind front an e-shop. I think Canadians were also left in the dark in terms of the store’s product ranges. I would often go to the American website to check out clothing and home products and hope that I could find them in store here. More lookbooks or a catalogue could have given customers a reason to come in to the store.
Target Canada is closing all 133 of its stores, and I wonder what will become of the empty spaces. I think this could be further proof that the big box model is dying, and people are shopping more and more online, or picking up everyday items from local grocery or specialty shops. Guess I’ll have to drive to Buffalo for the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection.