Several days ago, I went out of my way to find a Target Canada store so that I could use a gift card that my daughter received as a birthday present. It was a generous and thoughtful gift, and I wanted to use it before Target closed its doors in Canada. How could anyone imagine that in such a short timeframe, a large and highly anticipated American retailer like Target would disappear from the Canadian landscape? I needed to get to the store before the liquidation began on February 5, when sales (and customer antics) were expected to rival those on U.S. Black Friday. I had a plan: Quickly find the iTunes cards and buy one for $25. Easier said than done, though. Of course, there were none left. Empty shelves had been an issue since Day 1 for Target Canada and this was part of the reason I was trying to get there before any sales were announced. High prices were another problem that we saw in our Canadian version of the store. The motto for Target is: “Expect More, Pay Less”. But in Canada, it really should have been: “Expect Less. Pay More”. It’s such a sad tale of corporate greed, arrogance, and lack of understanding of Canadian shopping habits.
Starting off by rebranding old Zeller’s stores without making significant changes was a massive mistake. Why didn’t the powers-that-be deliver us the same “Tar-jay” shopping experience that motivates Canadians to cross the border just to shop there? It’s disappointing that this effort failed, but it is downright sad to see more job losses in the Canadian retail sector.