I guess they missed the mark on that one.
With all the changes in the economy over the last few years (at least), when Target announced they were going to set up shop in the North, Canadians everywhere felt a glimmer of hope. Up until Target’s arrival, the extent of our shopping on a budget was sifting through the overcrowded aisles in Walmart, Costco or Zellers, and the latter was one we avoided at all costs (Zellers was kind of like that weird cousin at Christmas who you tried not to talk to). We didn’t have any corporation that was quite like Target, not for the costs, the quality or the selection, so when it finally came to Canada, we all expected great things to come. Little did we know this high would be short lived.
Currently in the process of liquidating all their stock, Target has decided to close up shop in Canada for good after $2.1 billion US in losses, calling it “dead weight.” As consumers, I think The Verso can speak for everyone when we say we had high hopes for Target’s Canadian stores, believing that the merchandise would be of the same variety…but it wasn’t. Maybe it was the funding or maybe it was the effort, but the Targets spread across the States were very different than those brought to Canada.
We are still in shock that the corporation has given up after only two short years of service. After such a big move and hundreds of millions of dollars put into building beautiful new department stores, Target Canada will be letting go of over 17,600 devoted employees including those that work at the in-store Starbucks. To us consumers it may seem drastic and slightly premature, but according to Target Corporation CEO Brian Cornell, closing it’s 133 stores was a hard decision, but the right one to make.
As much of a blow as this is to Target shoppers, this corporation isn’t the only one to have made the choice to leave Canada in the last few months. On the same list is Mexx, who has also been having financial troubles on our side of the border. Having recently filed for bankruptcy, the fashion chain is closing 313 stores worldwide, 95 of which reside in Canada. The stores will continue to remain open as they sell off the remainder of their merchandise.
And to top it off, Sony is following the same suit as Target and Mexx. Shortly after Target Canada announced it’s departure, Sony has also decided that the only way to turn profits around is to close the doors to their 14 retail stores and focus completely on sales in the United States. While in the process of shutting down service in store, as an effort to maintain consistency, Sony will be redirecting it’s Canadian business through their national retail and online stores.
With Target, Mexx and Sony all making the decision within the last few months (as far as we know) to pull out of the Great White North, it makes us wonder what other retailers are questioning their relationship with Canada. Why is it that Target wasn’t nearly as successful as they thought when the desire for one in Canada from consumers was so strong? Why is it that Canada cannot seem to sustain American retailers when efforts and hopes are high? We truly have no idea, but since American companies are dropping like flies north of the border, we sure hope some goodies will be coming to take their place.
Image via Cartoon Ink