Posts Tagged 'Target Canada'

Target ends its Canada misadventure

Most RetailWire panelists were surprised last month at the Target annoucement that it is pulling out of Canada…less than two years after opening. I commented that the speed of the decision is a refreshing return to form for Target:

There are well-documented execution issues—pricing, supply chain management and so forth—that don’t need to be rehashed at this point. The biggest takeaway is the speed with which Mr. Cornell pulled the plug on the misfire. Where Target used to be known for a culture of “Speed is Life,” this was replaced over time by a more cautious approach to the business. It’s arguable that the size of the investment deserved more time for a turnaround, but the prospects were so dim (no profit until 2021) that Mr. Cornell’s decision represents a wake-up call to his own organization and to the investor community.


Target Canada: What’s the strategic advantage?

Target Canada opens this week, and RetailWire recently published panelists’ reactions to one of its marketing angles: The promise of shorter checkout lanes vs. Walmart. I question whether this will really resonate with the consumer, although Target already has a “more efficient” perception in the U.S.:

Picking shorter lines as a competitive advantage was probably research-based, but is it likely to drive a shift in shoppers’ habits in Canada? Hard to tell. Target does outperform Walmart in terms of checkout efficiency in the U.S. but the long-term win in this segment goes to the store with the right content and pricing. And, speaking of long lines, has anybody shopped in a Costco recently? Their slow checkout process doesn’t seem to be hurting their share gains.