Last week, 17,000 Target employees working for the company in Canada found out they will be losing their jobs.
Target’s U.S. parent announced it planned to close all 133 stores, including the one at Hillside Shopping Centre in Victoria.
In years to come, Target’s advance and retreat in Canada will likely be used as a classic textbook case study in business schools.
It decided to take over an existing chain [Zellers] that had a loyal core of shoppers, close down those stores and lay off all employees. It then completely renovated them, and opened a large number of stores all across the country, all at once. This is something that no other U.S. retailer who has made the trek north has done.
Walmart took over Woolco, but gradually rebranded their stores. Building supply stores Home Depot and Lowe’s both entered the Canadian market more gradually as well.
By all accounts, all these companies have done well with their Canadian operations.
By coming in more slowly, they all learned the challenges of doing business in Canada.
Target got off to a bad start when its stores opened here. Inventory at many stores was spotty, and there were reports of empty shelves.
Target stores will likely close over the next few months. It isn’t good news for the employees.
At the same time, it shows that, in business, it is vital to have products that meet consumers’ needs, and to be able to execute a proven growth strategy.
Companies who forget those fundamental lessons simply cannot stay in business.
– Black Press