Target Closing Down, Pulling out of Canada

Interior of Target store. Image-Peter Romano
Interior of Target store. Image-Peter Romano

After lackluster sales in Canada, the U.S.’s northern neighbor, Target has decided to pull its operations out of that country and 133 stores that are now open there will close their doors for good. Target lost over $1 billion in their first year of operations there and continue to lose money.

Less than two years since Target bought up Canada’s Zeller stores and slapped their trademark on the buildings, the mega-store is packing up and leaving the country.

Target blames poor acquisition handling and secondary locations for their failure as well as understocking and higher prices for items that could be had for less in the U.S.

Target’ s new CEO, Brian Cornell, after seeing no shift in the buying trends during the holidays made the decision to shutter the stores, and announced the company’s plans on Thursday.

Target will give Canadian employees of the chain 16 weeks of compensation and the doors will stay open during the wind-down process. The chain has 17,600 employees in that country. Target’s senior vice president, Aaron Alt, will take over as Target Canada’s CEO to oversee the winding down of the company’s presence there.

The shuttering of the stores will mark the largest exit of a U.S. retailer from Canada to date.