You want to shop at Target, eh?

Though Target’s expansion into Canada failed, they must make new goals to move forward.

Martha Pietruszewski

If you can believe it, this native Minnesotan has never been to Canada. Besides the outstanding reputation, free health care and cleaner air, what does Canada have that the United States doesn’t?

Not Target.

Target Canada is shutting its doors after years of poor performance. This is the right move. Unfortunately, coming to this realization took quite a while and cost Target millions of dollars that it could have used elsewhere.

A few years ago, international expansion was seen as the next logical next step for this retailer. The American discount retail market was becoming saturated, and the Canadian market was ripe for takeover.

The attempt was obviously not executed as well as it could have been. Molly Snyder, a public relations manager at Target, said, “We tried to do too much, much too fast.”

In my view, Target needs to re-evaluate its corporate strategy on expansion and customer demographics before it makes a drastic move like Target Canada again. Closing down operations in Canada allows Target to focus on concept stores — such as the Target Express in Dinkytown — which are proving to be quite popular.

By focusing on these kinds of stores, Target can perfect the guest experience. This is important to continue to build Target’s brand image and retain its strong reputation.

Fresh out of Canada and with a recently appointed CEO, Brian Cornell, Target has the opportunity to re-evaluate its current situation and make progress toward new goals. This year could be the Minneapolis-based retailer’s best yet.