The next CEO of Target will face a number of challenges and one of the biggest is turning things around in Canada.
Target began its first international expansion last year in Canada; so far they have opened 127 stores there. But in 2013, the retailer lost nearly a $1 billion on its Canadian operations.
The problems with the rollout in Canada were one of the reasons cited for the departure Monday of CEO Gregg Steinhafel.
"Target's facing brutal competition. Just brutal. Walmart is this giant, nearly 200 stores. They're well established; they have all the kinks worked out," John Williams, a partner in the Toronto-based retail consulting firm J.C. Williams Group, told MPR News' Morning Edition.
"And everybody, including Walmart, and all the other chains have been getting ready for Target. So no one was laying back. Everybody had full their guns blazing when Target came in."
Williams said many shoppers in Canada are familiar with the brand after visiting the stores in the U.S. He said the Canadian stores are very different.
"They have a very serious problem with their computers, their inventory control and their logistics. It's just blatant when you walk through the store," Williams said.
He said Target's emphasis on designer home goods don't strike a chord with Canadians.
"They may be in Canadian Target stores, but they're not celebrated. They're not featured. Canadian Target stores are dull," he said.