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Canadians Bid Farwell As Target Flees The Country

The chain had major issues in Canada that were well-documented by the business press in the past two years. Today it announced it will shut all 133 stores it operates there, in news that came as little surprise to Canadians.

Posted on January 15, 2015, at 12:45 p.m. ET

Oh #Target Canada, I'm really trying but this is getting really sad. A familiar sight nowadays. #supplychain

rana aluraibi@ranoonFollow

Oh #Target Canada, I'm really trying but this is getting really sad. A familiar sight nowadays. #supplychain

8:57 PM - 03 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Target Canada is shutting down and residents are celebrating the end of what was ultimately a watered-down, disappointing version of a popular American chain.

The retailer said today it will shut down its 133 stores in Canada, which it started building out in 2013, putting 17,600 employees out of a job. The company had major inventory issues, which meant customers often walked in to empty shelves, and struggled with the perception it was overpriced relative to U.S. locations, CEO and chairman Brian Cornell said in a blog post today. The company also failed to bring many of its popular American brands into the Canadian stores — such as Cherry Coke and the s'more variant of Goldfish crackers, the Wall Street Journal noted.

"Unfortunately, the negative guest sentiment became too much to overcome," Cornell said. He noted that the chain was "losing money every day" and that executives "were unable to find a realistic scenario that got Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021."

Many Canadians are celebrating Target's demise, or at least expressing a lack of surprise that this day would come. A few are posting to the company's Facebook page comparing the exit to a death in the family or the loss of a best friend.

When Target entered Canada, it got leases for locations from Zellers, a major Canadian discount chain. Many customers complained that the new Target, which is seen as an upscale version of Walmart in the U.S., was too much like Zellers — namely, cheaper and less nice. Still others felt that Target's goods were actually inferior to Zellers, as per a report last year from The New York Times that documented the chain's woes.

Target will book a large $5.4 billion pre-tax charge in the fourth quarter as part of the closings.

Good riddance @Target Canada didn't want you anyways. Next time, don't make fish smelling bags and charge a left leg for em. #byebyeTarget

coldilocks @Sammy240676Follow

Good riddance @Target Canada didn't want you anyways. Next time, don't make fish smelling bags and charge a left leg for em. #byebyeTarget

8:50 AM - 15 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Target Canada Facebook page / Via Facebook: rkeyes
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Disney Princess aisle 70% empty. Glaring reminder of @target canada's supply chain issues. #outofstock #noinventory

Cherokee Chamorro@CherokeeYVRFollow

Disney Princess aisle 70% empty. Glaring reminder of @target canada's supply chain issues. #outofstock #noinventory

8:28 PM - 16 Aug 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"No wonder Target Canada is doing so badly" #gaming #gamers http://t.co/7BUrPjVpgh

Gamer Thoughts BOT!@VideoGamerPostsFollow

"No wonder Target Canada is doing so badly" #gaming #gamers http://t.co/7BUrPjVpgh

11:20 AM - 06 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I keep hoping @Target Canada will get better, but each time I come, it looks like the zombie apocalypse already hit.

Albertos P.@CharterLawFollow

I keep hoping @Target Canada will get better, but each time I come, it looks like the zombie apocalypse already hit.

6:54 PM - 22 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Literally the only Jewish display in Target Canada. Only an end shelf, sitting next to a Shark Floor Mop.

Omelette du Unfě@silverwuffamuteFollow

Literally the only Jewish display in Target Canada. Only an end shelf, sitting next to a Shark Floor Mop.

7:14 PM - 06 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The only thing that sucks about Target Canada closing is people losing their job. It wasn't good and just stick to the U.S. Target.

Michelle Simpson@OfficialMicheleFollow

The only thing that sucks about Target Canada closing is people losing their job. It wasn't good and just stick to the U.S. Target.

9:18 AM - 15 Jan 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

A Redditor complains about the lack of American brands at Target Canada

Winnipeg subreddit / Via reddit.com

Another Redditor shows the pricing perception issues Target Canada had:

Winnipeg subreddit / Via reddit.com
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