Behind Target's departure from Canada

Target
Target says it will shut down its 133-store Canadian operation after a failed expansion.
Damian Dovarganes/AP File

Target announced Thursday that the company will stop operating its 133 stores in Canada and exit the country's market.

The Minneapolis-based retail giant expects the cost of liquidating the stores to be between $500 million and $600 million. The departure means that more than 17,000 employees will lose their jobs. The company says it plans to sell its real estate assets in Canada, as well.

From today's MPR News story:

Target overestimated its opportunity in Canada and made several "operational missteps," said retail analyst Antony Karabus of HRC Advisory. "They opened too big, too fast," he said. "Opening 130 stores in a year is just way too fast and too many."

Karabus said Target also underestimated Canadian consumers' loyalty to existing retailers, and that Target set product prices too high.

Retail consultant Carol Spieckerman joins The Daily Circuit to discuss the broader context of the move.

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