Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 21, 2013 01:46 PM
Target’s first foray into Canada, with 21 more store openings just announced, is striking some eager shoppers as off the mark.
The Minneapolis-based retailing giant surprised southern Ontario consumers a couple of weeks ago opening its first three stores north of the border earlier than expected. People lined up in anticipation of the highest-profile retail arrival since Walmart entered the market nearly 20 years ago, but once they got inside, many were disappointed.
Despite Target's efforts to embrace Canadian culture, including a design partnership with Canadiana chic brand Roots as well as an entertainment partnership with Vancouver-born crooner Michael Buble, there were a number of product shortages. This would be excusable in a newly-minted store that’s getting the kinks out—but perhaps most importantly, the low prices on which Target had built its reputation and brand weren’t there, or at least not to the extent that cross-border and online Canadian shoppers expected.Continue reading...
Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 4, 2013 04:21 PM
After playing coy about its exact launch dates in Canada, Target has confirmed it's opening the first of its Canadian stores this week. Residents in three communities (Guelph, Fergus and Milton) west of Toronto will be able to check out the launch trio of Target Canada "pilot stores" that will open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, part of the first wave of 24 stores soft opening this month in Ontario. As Target's press release puts it,
Like the majority of Target locations opening in Canada, the pilot stores feature a licensed Starbucks, as well as an in-store pharmacy designed to provide guests with superior patient-centered healthcare. “The Target team is excited to open these test locations as we put the finishing touches on our stores, assortments and inventory,” said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. “We look forward to delivering on our Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise and providing an outstanding shopping experience as we approach our grand opening in early April.”
The move kicks off the Minneapolis-based retailer's opening of up to 135 locations in former Zellers locations across Canada, 124 of those locations opening their doors this year. Target had said publicly it will start having soft store openings in March but it hadn't given exact dates or specific locations. In advance of this week's opening drive, the brand is practically building snowmen (see a recent Facebook cover image, above), drinking maple syrup straight from the bottle and painting its face at hockey games.
The retailing giant has been on an awareness-building campaign for its highly-anticipated arrival since late last year, one that is expected to ignite an all-out battle for consumers not seen since Walmart stormed the 49th parallel in 1994 with the acquisition of 122 Woolco stores.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 05:12 PM
Could there be a better match than between the red and white of Target's logo and identity and the red and white of Canada's maple leaf flag — or between Canada's relatively sleepy retail environment and the jolt that Target will bring?
Canadians and the Minneapolis-based retailer are moving closer to finding out. Target is poised to open its first outlets in Canada in the next few weeks, the first of a total of 124 stores planned for the country this year. Its coming invasion of store openings in March and April is exciting many Canadian consumers, prompting wariness among its soon-to-be competitors and necessitating a country-specific strategy from Target despite its accomplishments in the much bigger market to the South.
The move north involves more than simply remembering the "u" in "neighbor," as noted on its Canadian website, or featuring hockey-playing polar bears (with its logo conveniently placed center ice) on its Canadian Facebook page. It also means respecting local preferences in food, clothing and doing business.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 1, 2013 06:43 PM
Best Buy Canada will lay off 900 employees and close 15 of its stores including eight Future Shop locations, while Sears Canada will lay off 700 of its workers as both retailers brace for the arrival of Target next month and the expansion of Walmart there. Nordstrom is also launching in Canada with four stores in major cities.
“The retail landscape continues to change, and our success is dependent upon our ability to evolve along with it,” said Mike Pratt, president of Best Buy Canada. “By taking a proactive approach in transforming our operations now, I have no doubt we will be in the best position to continue innovating our store experience for consumers and grow into the next decade.”
Sears spokesman Vince Power in a statement that the imminent layoffs across Canada are “part of our initiative to right-size the organization, which is working in concert with other initiatives to make Sears successful."
Best Buy Canada, like its American parent, faces stiff competition from online electronics retailers such as Amazon and Apple and is replicating a U.S. strategy of switching to smaller stores, which are less expensive to operate. Meanwhile, Sears Canada — which has suffered for years from falling sales and profits — is shrinking its overhead from its 360 department stores and 300 distribution centers.
While Canada's retail sector has been wobbling ever since Walmart arrived in the mid-90s, this latest round of market rumbling is spurred by Target’s immiment expansion plans, as the cheap chic retailer gets ready to open the first of its 124 stores in Canada next month.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 29, 2013 06:46 PM
Target is taking "online only" to a new level.
Last week, the retail giant hosted the Target Everyday Show, an interactive event on Twitter leveraging its tongue-in-chic “Everyday Collection” TV campaign by creating a virtual runway show that drew on people’s tweets about everyday products submitted via hashtag.
Calling the event its Tweet-to-Runway Show, Target chose its favorite tweets by fans to be featured on its YouTube channel and on a microsite, EverydayShow.com.
Witty tweets won the day, including “Why does my chocolate milk taste like bananas?” as one tweet chic model asked to the camera. “Monday, you saucy minx you. Coffee me,” cited another.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 17, 2012 05:25 PM
With less than two weeks to go before the Summer Games kick off, London Olympics organizers have suddenly discovered that they’ve got a major problem on their hands: Security. And rain. A backlash to the so-called "brand police." And what to do with thousands of tetchy journalists?
Post-Cool Brittania, We Stand on Guard for Thee
After spending years prepping to make the Olympics a shining moment in the city’s history that should help make its brand shine, London is hurting for security help. Nick Buckles, the head of the firm that is providing what security will exist, G4S, admits that the whole thing has been a “humiliating shambles,” according to the Guardian. Even so, London city officials are hoping that somehow they can turn things around quickly in hopes of rescuing the city’s brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 28, 2010 08:15 AM
Can Facebook withstand the coming Facebook movie?
Kia and Nissan run ads noting England's World Cup defeat in U.K. newspapers.
McDonald's eyes beverages to take on Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts.Continue reading...