Monday, August 19, 2013

Why is Target Failing in Canada?

Target has not even been in Canada for that long and it is already pulling in satisfaction numbers that are below industry standards. Heck, even Zellers probably did better.

Costco tops the Forum Research poll that came out this week for Canada and retailers.

The list ran this order:

Not very good numbers.

Now this list is for those people who have been to the stores in Canada since they have opened.

So what accounts for the dissatisfaction? The details are a bit sketchy but in a nutshell people are no doubt comparing Target USA with Target Canada and finding it wanting. Even more troubling for Target in Canada is the fact that their numbers are dropping. A previous poll found higher numbers than they have now.

It is no easy task to create a new national store with 124 stores, three distribution centers. They certainly can't blame Zellers staff since they only retained 1% of them.

In Winnipeg, we have one major Target renovation of the old Zellers at Grant Park underway and new construction of the the Super Target at old Canad Inn Stadium site at Polo Park. Quite simply, a lot of Winnipeg does not have a really local Target yet. There are no Targets in west Winnipeg. Many people in the city have not been to the ones open yet.

Analysts are saying that Target needs to do well with their grocery so that they get more regular visits. Walmart has recently upgraded its grocery sections to counter Target and Loblaw's/Real Canadian Superstores.

Loblaw's is set to buy Shopper's Drug Mart and Sobey's is buying Safeway.

And there is Target will sub-par numbers for satisfied customers.

What is the solution? Price and selection and location, location, location.

Can Target do it? Well, they have had a reputation for being a tough competitor. Most Canadians won't give up on them yet but they are showing dissatisfaction now.


Ron said...

I've been to the KP Target twice. The first time it was just for clothes, and I saw nothing I wanted. The second time it was for other stuff, and I still found nothing that satisfied me.

Also, that store stinks. Literally. It gives off a stench that causes mild burns to my nostrils. The first time, right when it opened, I thought it was some sort of New Store Smell, but it was still there the second time.

Also, their Canadian website is terrible - you can't find out what they sell, the way you can on their American site, or on Walmart's.

In other words, they haven't come close to earning my satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

Good musings.

I've shopped at Target in the US since I was a kid. I checked out Target in north Wpg (Garden City/Transcona-ish) and it was a huge letdown. The impression we got from our first visit was:

We felt like we were shopping in a cross between Pre-bankruptcy Eatons and Zellers. I could not believe the first impression that Target Canada was OK for our local market was the slackness that I witnessed on my first (and only) Target visit in Wpg.

I'll shop Target in Grand Forks when passing through, but won't waste my time in Wpg again at a Target here.