Monday, May 12, 2014

Hey Target!

Target doesn't seem to understand why their foray into Canada isn't bearing profit. I can help explain. Pay attention closely.

Canadians who found out that Target was coming to Canada a few years back were not new to the brand. They had in many cases already shopped at Target - in the US. And they liked what they saw. Low prices. Really low - prices in the US in general are cheaper. So when they heard that Target was coming to Canada, they were expecting that they would see the same deals and the same new products that were on US shelves.

Like what for example? Well, consider that a set of fancy Dr Scholl's insoles cost $18-$22 in Canada, but the exact same set only costs $12 ($9 if it's on sale) in the US at Target. That's just one example. You can also get great deals on sun screen, hair care products, vitamins, makeup, children's shoes and so much more. Their selection is great too. Between the WalMarts and the Walgreens and the Targets in the US, a Canadian shopper has access to a dearth of products and brands missing in Canada at much lower prices.

So you can imagine the excitement. But then came the Canadian Target store openings. Same brands as before. Same prices as Zellers - in some cases - higher prices. Less stock. Less selection. Why? Elementary, dear shopper. The entire retail industry in Canada operates under the premise that us relatively well-to-do Canadians will endure the premium prices we pay. So the item that might have cost $9 on a US Target shelf, after import duties, taxes, a cut to the distributors (and there may be more than one), higher fuel (shipping) costs, it ends up being offered for $22 on the Canadian Target shelf.

And that just isn't what we want. We don't want the status quo. We want US-style bargains. And selection. And you didn't come through. And that is why you fail.

Dear Nordstrom's. You're next.............


Retro Blog said...

Years ago when I lived in Barrow, AK I got hold of a Canadian Sears Catalog. I was delighted until I opened the thing. Complete fail on so many levels as you mentioned. Bad on you, Sears. Watched a news bit on TD, Toronto Dominion banks all up and down the east coast of USA, quite profitable, many personal services, what do you think?

Retro Blog said...

and I have always liked Nordstroms purely from the service angle.