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Podcast: Target didn't understand Canada

Target was a latecomer that offered little to excite consumers, says analyst

Much ink has been spilled over what went wrong at Target’s Canadian operation.

The American discounter on Thursday announced that it was fleeing south, having lost a staggering $5.4 billion in this country. After a court-supervised liquidation, all 133 stores will be shuttered.

READ: How Target got it wrong in Canada

Many have blamed supply chain issues as the chief culprit of Target's demise. But a new podcast from Euromonitor International makes a compelling argument that Target simply got Canada wrong.

The Canadian retail landscape Target entered in 2013 was already overdeveloped with sluggish growth, Euromonitor analyst Svetlana Uduslivaia explains in the podcast. Thanks to immigration and the country’s ethnic makeup, customer preferences were also changing fast.

“In these conditions, Target was a latecomer that offered really very little to excite consumers,” Uduslivaia says.

Target also failed to live up to the hype of an excellent marketing campaign leading up to its first store openings. Merchandising, prices and quality simply didn’t live up to the glitz that Target had promised.

READ: Target, biting off more than you can chew

The result: “The retailer really failed to deliver,” Uduslivaia says.

Listen to the full Euromonitor podcast here.

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