Target needs to 'reconnect' with Canadian market
Department store chain's Canadian marketplace woes come from disappointed customers, professor says
Target Canada says it doesn't have any plans to close stores in northeastern Ontario.
In an email to CBC News Sudbury, spokesperson Lisa Gibson said Target remains committed to the Canadian marketplace.
But Cambrian College business professor Brian Vendramin said the company needs to find new ways to re-engage with consumers.
“They need to try to reconnect with the Canadian market. And I think they're going to do that by trying to get some of the Target, if you wish, from the States — the chicness — back into Canada. [They need to try] to get a different type of merchandise in,” he said.
Vendramin said part of the reason for customer dissatisfaction is because Canadians who shop at Target in the US don't have the same experience north of the border.
It has been just over a year since Target opened its doors in Sudbury and North Bay.
Jan Monteleone said she shops at Target on Lasalle Boulevard in Sudbury at least once a week because she likes the service and cheap prices.
“[I have] no complaints. They always come and ask you if they could help you and stuff,” she said. “I found it very good.”
But Vendramin said local competition is making it tough for Target to lure customers.
“Locally you see that Walmart has ramped up with a big expansion,” he said. “They're prepared and it shows.”
Target has now replaced the head of its Canadian operations, Tony Fischer, with Mark Schindele, a company insider with more than 20 years of retail experience.
Vendramin said despite the change, the company “may just decide to retreat from Canada all together.”
“A couple of weeks ago I would've said 'no, I don't think that's going to happen.' But, you know, with somebody new, under the gun, they may just say, 'you know, we're not ready for Canada'."