retail watch

With Lawsuits Piling Up, Target Takes Another Blow as Canada Fails to Catch On

Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2014 01:57 PM

There may finally be a silver lining to Target's continuing woes with its huge data breach late last year: The problems have managed to divert attention from another huge challenge to the chain as its massive invasion of the Canadian market is faltering.

Instead of reaching profitability by the end of last year, as Target had predicted, its multibillion-dollar expansion into Canada via 124 stores and growing produced a loss of $800 million to $900 million for 2013, noted the New York Times.

"The data breach seems to have come at a good time for them as they would have been answering questions" about the failure to get traction in Canada, Rob Wilson, a retail analyst at Tiburon Research Group, told the newspaper. "I've never seen a set of expectations that are so shockingly missed on a rollout."Continue reading...

brand makeovers

Canada's The Bay Rebrands in Light of Target Launch

Posted by Reneé Alexander on March 11, 2013 02:07 PM

Canada’s oldest retailer launched a major rebranding effort the same week that Target christened its first stores north of the 49th parallel. Coincidence? Maybe, but probably not.

The Bay, which has its roots in Canada’s fur trade, will now be known as Hudson’s Bay. It won’t be that much of a stretch for consumers, considering the new name is a nod to its parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co., but it will mean its unique stylized-ribbon “B” in The Bay will be retired.

A return to the iconic retailer’s classic full name with a word mark—which will be used on all marketing and media materials, as well as online and on in-store displays—is its first major logo rebrand since 1965.Continue reading...

retail watch

Target Prepares for Canadian Launch This Week

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...

retail watch

How Target's Entering Canada: Politely, and Bearing Gifts

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 21, 2012 11:13 AM

What's the best way for a well-known retailer to introduce its brand to a new country? Come bearing gifts. That, apparently, is Target's strategy. In advance of its spring 2013 launch in Canada, the retail chain is laying the groundwork with PR-positive initiatives, including a push to support Canadian charities, sustainable stores, and a focus on Canadian fashion designers.

Target has pledged to give $1 million to six local Canadian charities in food, active play, education, and the arts. Visitors to Target's Canadian Facebook page through December 9 can select any of the six charities and Target will make a $100 donation and add the donor's photo to its "Gallery of Giving." Facebook visitors can also specify the province where they would like the money to go. The "Give with Target" campaign just launched on November 20 and has already raised over $250,000.

Will using corporate citizenship as a calling card convince Canadians to forgo Walmart and homegrown faves such as The Bay, Sears (which just refreshed its branding ahead of Target's arrival) and Canadian Tire?Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Best Buy, Coke, Microsoft, WikiLeaks and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 14, 2010 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

Google and Microsoft join President Obama's fight on $75 billion illegal drug e-market, as Obama meets with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to discuss bolstering the US economy.

WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange granted bail (but Sweden vetoes) as supporters pay $360,000 for New York Times ad.

Audi and Mercedes-Benz lead automaker push to go social for 2011 Super Bowl.

Best Buy share price plunges on lowered forecast, despite brighter November for US retail sales.

Brett Favre draws criticism for trying to profit from end of winning streak.

CNBC launches subscription CNBC Pro, "for the serious investor."Continue reading...

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