Updated:
Original:

Target pulling the plug on Canada operations; 133 stores affected

Author:

Target Canada is no more.

The retail chain said Thursday morning it is shutting down operations in the North American country, not even two years after opening its first store there.

There are currently 133 Target Canada locations, which employ about 17,600 people. The stores will remain open as everything is sold off.

"After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021. Personally, this was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision for our company," said Brian Cornell, Target chairman and CEO.

He noted the holiday sales period didn't live up to what the company had hoped.

The company is looking to put $59 million into a trust which, if approved by the courts, would provide nearly all Target Canada-based employees get at least 16 weeks of compensation, including some wages and benefits coverage.

It expects to report about $5.4 billion in pre-tax losses in the final quarter of 2014 due to the decision.

Target's troubled Canadian expansion

Target swooped into the Canadian scene with a big move in 2011, buying up more than 100 properties the discount retailer Zellers had moved out of.

The company opened its first Canadian stores in March of 2013. They were the retailer's first locations outside of the U.S.

Things quickly became rocky.

Inventory issues plagued the early locations, which troubled analysts. Within five months, customer satisfaction surveys showed Target Canada was near the bottom of the country's retail preference, with stores such as Wal-Mart and Costco beating the bullseye.

Target’s Canadian operations posted an operating loss of almost $1 billion in its first year.

By May of 2014, the company picked a new leader to helm the turnaround, with big changes promised. But a few months later, after the complaints kept streaming in, the company had to once again promise more big changes.

Speaking with the Star Tribune late in 2014, president of the Canada operations Mark Schnidele said the company may have moved too quickly. He had taken over for former CEO Gregg Steinhafel, who was behind the northward expansion.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I wished we wouldn’t have opened up so many stores as we did at once,” Schnidele told the paper.

Next Up

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.

Wild

COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Here's where DFLers stand on Minneapolis' public safety ballot question

The question would create a Department of Public Safety and remove some requirements.

Arthur Kollie

Man pleads guilty to brutal murder of 14-year-old girl in Fargo

The 14-year-old girl was the victim of a random attack outside a Fargo strip mall.

Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates 2021 - jacob frey sheila nezhad kate knuth

Here's who has endorsed the frontrunners for Minneapolis mayor

Politicians and community groups are voicing their opinions.

Related

Target confirms stores opening in Canada next year

The Minneapolis-based discount giant is firming up plans to enter its first market outside the United States. Target has released a list of 125 store locations in Canada that will open starting next spring. Its first 24 stores are all in Ontario. Later this year, Target will announce additional locations that will open in 2014.