Target departure will leave gap in Devonshire Mall

Target's departure from Canada will leave a large gap in Windsor's Devonshire Mall, though no time frame on when the store will shut down has been put in place.
Target Corp. will abandon its ill-fated expansion into Canada less than two years after launch, the U.S. discount retailer said on Thursday, in a surprise retreat that will put more than 17,000 employees out of work and cost it billions. (Fred Thornhill/Reuters)

Target's departure from Canada will leave a large gap in Windsor's Devonshire Mall, though there's no time frame for when the store will shut down.

Target lasted less than two years in Canada before the announcement the American retailer would be closing its 133 stores across the country, including one in Windsor and one in Thames Lea Plaza in Chatham.

The head of the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce said the news came as a surprise.

"It's disappointing, but we're going to try and rebound from this as soon as we can," said Matt Marchand.

Empty shelves

Vincent Georgie said the retailer had a flawed supply chain that was never addressed.

The business professor at the University of Windsor said Target has only itself to blame for the failure of its foray into Canada.

"Target has struggled from day one with getting the supply chain down pat, whether it was the manufacturing, the delivering, all the transportation, the re-ordering, the stocking," Georgie said.

"That was the issue. Many consumers are complaining that the shelves were often empty with stock. They have to re-order. And that's something that Target was simply not able to get under control in Canada through the time that they were here, and that's really what has done them in."

Lower prices not delivered

The closure is getting mixed reactions from shoppers.

"It means I'm going to Target in the States. I'll cross the border to keep going to Target. I love Target," one woman said
outside of the Windsor store.

The lure of cheaper products were one of Target's draws. But Georgie said it's something the store could not deliver.

"The prices weren't as low as you thought, even though some could argue maybe the products were a bit of a better quality," Georgie said.

"But the bottom line was you would show up to their stores and there'd be shortages, and that is a fundamental problem. I think it has less to do with Walmart being a formidable competitor as much as it was Target just could not get it together."


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