Having dramatically exposed the dismal state of JCPenney stores and the sad dismantling of Sears, Belus Capital Advisors' Brian Sozzi has gone north and found his another sad retail spectacle... in Target Canada.
This can’t be happening, can it?
When I last talked with Target a few months back, best believe that a few moments were allocated to discussing the state of the Canadian business. Strangely, ever since I began to chronicle the Canadian store operations for our coverage on Target, the situation has seemed to worsen. That is quite the opposite of what I was being pitched by Target on the phone, predominately that the business’ operations were on track to be structurally tightened and 1Q14 would represent some sort of mini rebirth. I hung up the phone skeptical, as Target’s assertions did not match what my own two eyes were seeing, consistently, on the ground. Now, that skepticism is at an all-time high, and the 14 photos below bring you into the Target Canada world I continue to study.
Ahead of Target’s May 21 earnings release, this much is clear regarding the Canadian misfit (yes, misfit, not outfit):
- Target Canada does not get in this shape if there weren’t leadership voids inside the operation, from stores to higher up the food chain. No retail executive would want their names associated with a business that is unable to keep basic items such a food and detergent on the shelves.
- Whatever Target Canada’s leadership IS doing, in concert with HQ directives, is not solving the fundamental issues at the stores and within the supply chain.
- With subpar locations that in some cases sell food on the second floor, a new Target CEO must consider using the company’s balance sheet to exit leases early and pare down to the very best sites. From there, once the operations of the business are repeatable, then Target could expand.
14 Photos that Say it ALL About Target Canada
Quick, as you look at this, imagine you are a consumer inside Target Canada. What would you think/feel when seeing this wicker basket presentation? Exactly…
Zombie shelf. (<—trademarked term).
Not only are the display items oddly missing (people must be buying them), where in the world is the inventory. BTW, look in the background, see the barren hanging clog section? Zombie shelves.
Rule #5 in retail: end caps are profit zones. Kids touch end caps and show mom their grabbings, enticing moms to buy. That is not happening at Target Canada, zombie end caps continue to be the norm, showing that void in leadership (no attention to detail).
Sad. Aisles are supposed to draw in your eye from far away. Are you compelled to visit this section?
Unbeatable prices on non-existent merchandise.
The toy section also continues to be a problem zone for Target Canada, consistently out of stock and not merchandised correctly. Here, a flea market feel.
Paging Hasbro, this is how Barbie is being presented at Target Canada.
Time to reorder some out of stock toys?
No, this is not Sears Canada…
A Merona zombie shelf for $10.00. Back up the car, this fixture could be yours!
Maybe Target Canada should reduce the height of its racks to at least make them appear well stocked. There are only seven different rugs on the entire lower shelf.
Yes, hi, 70% off on imaginary merchandise.
Twelve slots to hold pillows. Four slots used.