Target Canada’s collapse will be one for the business textbooks for decades to come, says one retailing expert in a recent interview.
The giant U.S. retailer was overly aggressive and badly missed the mark on the Canadian market,no only experts but people said.
“The opportunistic takeover of Zellers came back to bite them in the butt. It was too fast, too aggressive,” he said.
Minneapolis-based Target retreated fromCanada on Thursday, closing its Canadian operations in a move that will shut down 133 stores and cost 17,000 workers their jobs.
Hundreds of jobs will be lost in Southwestern Ontario, where the retailer had two stores in London and single locations in Chatham and Stratford — outlets all left with no obvious new tenants.
In London, the closing will create a second big hole in the giant Masonville Place mall, where a Sears store still stands empty after that retailer sold its store leases at key Canadian outlets.
Target’s exit from Canada comes less than two years after it snapped up leases of the Zellers discount chain for $1.8 billion.
Popular with cross-border shoppers, there were expectations Target would give retailers like Walmart a run for their stores.