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(The New York Times)   Target Canada seems to be missing the mark   (nytimes.com) divider line 16
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1054 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 Feb 2014 at 7:49 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-26 08:07:46 PM  
To be fair, they've begun to miss the mark here in the USA too since they decided to become nothing but a more expensive Walmart.  I still go there some but when I walk by the grocery section at the one by my house that they had to have spent a large amount of cash on, it is almost completely empty.
 
2014-02-26 08:08:18 PM  
Good. I work part time at target and I enjoy watching them fail. For only working extremely part time it isn't terrible. They cancelled my health insurance but gave me 500 bucks. Also when I quit next month they will cut me a check for all the unused vacation time I never used. Not half bad.
 
2014-02-26 08:24:39 PM  
Perhaps it's partly because they completely botched the roll-out.

The one I went to (made a special trip to just to check it out) in Edmonton about a month after they opened hadn't been completely stocked yet. About 60% of the shelves were empty, and I left thinking "well, that was pointless". They were in such a rush to open the stores on schedule that when they fell behind on actually doing the things they should have been doing to prepare open them, they went ahead anyway instead of staggering the openings and having each store actually be fully functional from the day it opened.

I've only been back once, and that was just because I happened to be in the mall anyway.
 
2014-02-26 08:29:07 PM  
And now I see that the article (which I hadn't finished reading when I posted) and my post at least corroborate each other, so there's that, which is nice.
 
2014-02-26 08:48:14 PM  

apoptotic: Perhaps it's partly because they completely botched the roll-out.

The one I went to (made a special trip to just to check it out) in Edmonton about a month after they opened hadn't been completely stocked yet. About 60% of the shelves were empty, and I left thinking "well, that was pointless". They were in such a rush to open the stores on schedule that when they fell behind on actually doing the things they should have been doing to prepare open them, they went ahead anyway instead of staggering the openings and having each store actually be fully functional from the day it opened.

I've only been back once, and that was just because I happened to be in the mall anyway.


Similar story near Toronto, went shortly after they opened, half looking for a couple of things, none were in stock.  Was looking for two other things at Christmas, again out of stock.   They don't have what I've looked for 5 times out of 5, why would I go back, again?
 
2014-02-26 09:32:54 PM  
They're being haunted from beyond the grave.


wpmedia.business.financialpost.com
 
2014-02-26 09:47:29 PM  
Also glad to see someone else double up what I've said for a while.  Target-spec clothes are closer to gauze/single-ply-TP every given year.  Walmart may be extreme cost-cutters, but they sell comparatively non-cellophane shirts (probably because their customers wouldn't stay contained in them if they went too thin).
 
2014-02-26 09:57:31 PM  
My advice to American companies:  don't wait too long to roll out in Canada. It gives our fat, lazy and stupid business people time to prepare for your coming by getting the brands Canadians want, by lowering prices, by improving service and generally squeezing you out.

TiVo: Rolled out in Canada after years of making Canadians salivate but by then nobody cared. Bell fibe, Bell Satelltte, Shaw, and Rogers all had time switching and online viewing and other services in place that made a video recorder fairly redundant.

We still don't have access too Amazon or Google movies. By the time we do, there will simply be no television or cable. Everything will be on the web and Amazon and Google will just be another option.

Apple: lots of stuff you can't get here. Many of the services that make a Fire or a Kindle desirable don't work in Canada or have limited content.

And so it goes. There is a lot to envy and a lot to fear in US retail and business generally but if you don't treat Canada as a domestic market you risk losing it altogether to local firms or else to some European or Asian company.

And Canada can be a tough nut to crack. Canadians are conservative in the Scottish sense. We want low prices, good quality and good warrantees. It's very hard to meet the packaging demands (French and English on every box) unless of course you are a European company. It's very hard to sell without the Canadian premium adding about 15-30% to your US price.

Canadian electronics apparently are higher quality models with longer (3 year not unusual) warrantees. The bargains you see on Black Friday are often extra cheap models without the full service and features of the "real" deal that you would buy at a higher price. It's fake bargains for fake sales.

It's no picnic breaking into the ruthlessly competitive markets in the USA, but conversely it's not easy for a discount seller to break into a market that has more savy and more demanding customers, regulators and tax men. You may be able to compete with WalMart on prices but you will lose your Canadian customers if price is the whole game.

I always say that it's not a sale if the reduction is less than 50%, it's just promotion. Mark it up, mark it down. Net gain: to the marker. Some things might have to drop 75% to be considered on sale.

On the other hand, Americans buy too much cheap shoddy crap. It's sort of scary to shop in the US. And it isn't just the buffalo that wander down the aisles wider than European roads, pushing carts the size of Toyota pick-ups. There's so much junk. Potato chip bags can be used as emergency blankets. Tubs of food can be turned over and used as huts. And honestly, who buys these crappy electronics? It's like shopping with the Simpsons.
 
2014-02-26 10:01:48 PM  
Sometimes I wonder if any of the cool stuff you see on hipster or green websites ever gets made.

And if it does get made, who can afford it and where do they find it?

So much beautiful "concept" furniture and gadgets and even house. And I will never see one of them, let alone one for sale.

Take a trawl trough treehugger.com (which was Canadian and may still be) and see if you can actually buy anything. Most of it is anti-consumer pron. You can't buy that here. You can't buy it any where. It's a design proof of concept for a small design firm in Germany or Swede that makes nothing. Nothing.
 
2014-02-26 10:22:04 PM  
I've been in a few different Targets so far. They are almost always empty. No one in them. There's really no reason to go there outside of convenience. They have the exact same stuff as other department stores and usually higher prices. It will silly of people thinking that they would keep US prices here though.
 
2014-02-27 07:50:19 AM  
Gee, look. HBC's Zellers chain is failing and going bankrupt 'cause no-one's shopping at 'em. I know, let's spend millions of dollars buying 'em up, renovating and re-branding them into Targets.

...and still it seems no-one wants to shop at Zellers Mk. II.
 
2014-02-27 08:04:33 AM  

meteorite: To be fair, they've begun to miss the mark here in the USA too since they decided to become nothing but a more expensive Walmart.  I still go there some but when I walk by the grocery section at the one by my house that they had to have spent a large amount of cash on, it is almost completely empty.


Pretty much this.  Their selection, prices, and stocking have gotten worse and worse.  Selling way less shiat that I use, at higher prices, and half the time if they do sell it, it's out of stock.  I guess they decided they don't like money.
 
2014-02-27 08:45:46 AM  
I will sometimes go to Target specifically because they are empty. No jostling. No stress. I'll pay a small bit more than Walmart, but without the horrific atmosphere.
 
2014-02-27 10:03:45 AM  
The one near my place at least has the advantage of being the only Starbucks in the neighborhood. Otherwise, the house wares (lamps and stuff) is the only think my wife likes there (thankfully).  The pharmacy is great, but that's more a function of the pharmacist than anything else.
 
2014-02-27 10:29:32 AM  
Personally, I do not want to buy my clothes the same place I'm buying my meat or produce. I really hate "one stop shopping" and prefer specialized shopping.
I hate big box store complexes and love malls. There, I said it... I like malls. I want to park once, and walk around, inside comfortably.... preferably with a food court.
 
2014-02-27 06:24:55 PM  
The Canadians sent us Justin Bieber; we sent them Target. I guess both sides lost.
 
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