Target loves Canada, but does Canada love Target?

Canada loves Target?

Ever since Target announced they were going to enter the Canadian marketplace, Canadians have been worried that it would be a different, diluted experience. We’ve come to expect this when our favourite stores come here from the United States. The product mix is different, the prices are higher and overall most brands just aren’t as good.

The PR machine at Target has been working overtime reassuring Canadians they will get the best experience possible, at the same time setting up the expectation that it won’t be identical. As always, Canadians are complaining about every little aspect of Target before they even experience the place.

They opened three test stores in Ontario a few weeks ago, and all across the web people bitching and complaining about higher prices and out of stock products. The social media team is AMAZING at responding to this ridiculous feedback and I give them super kudos. Here are a few of the questions they keep having to respond to, with the answers I wish they would post:

When are you opening the XXXX store? Store openings will be listed on the website when we have details, like we’ve said on the past 1000 identical questions.

Will XXXX product be available? We can’t tell you exactly what products we have in store because it’s different for each location and honestly a waste of our time. Plus if we told you we had something and it was god forbid out of stock you would bitch and complain even more. Visit the store when we open and explore the aisles to find out what we have.

“How do I get a job there?” We’ve already answered this question 5000 times, and to be honest it’s a little late in the game considering we’ve been hiring for months now. And really, if you don’t know how to find the resources to apply via our website, you’re ignorant and lazy and we don’t want you to work here because we don’t have time for that. Go to McDonald’s.

“Why did you fire all the Zellers staff when you bought them?” First of all, we didn’t fire anyone. We did not buy Zellers, we bought the leases to their stores. Zellers employees got the same chance to apply for positions like everyone else. The fact is the employees of Zellers were lazy and useless and we didn’t need that baggage on our team. We wanted fresh, motivated people who were open to learning how to provide an excellent customer service experience.

“Why aren’t you opening a store in XXXX?” We’re a little busy opening over 122 stores, so we apologize for not opening one in your backyard. Once we establish ourselves, we’ll reassess where we should open new stores. Also, we aren’t opening a store in your town of 15 people because that’s just ridiculous. Zellers tried that and look where they are today (ha ha!). Take the 20 minute drive to our store, it’s worth it. We have Starbucks!

“The lines were too long and the store shelves were empty.” We haven’t even had the damn grand opening yet people! We soft-opened a few stores to work out the kinks. The lines were long because everyone is excited we are here,  and it was blasted across the media like the second coming of Christ. Sorry we were busy, how about we start charging cover and making people wait outside in the cold. Does that work?

Let’s get this straight: Target will be a bit different from the US stores. That’s the reality of any company in Canada.The prices will be higher. Deal with it. That’s a fact of life here, and has been covered to death. Many of the people complaining are from Ontario (big surprise). Lucky for you, you can drive to the American Target just across the border if you want the original. Grab some Olive Garden, cheap beer and call it a day.

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Secondly, of course they ran out of stock. There are unrealistically high expectations and everyone and their family rushed there the moment they heard about the soft open. Once normal operation begins, I’m sure they will have all your Archer Farms and Mossimo in stock. Calm down!

Anyway, Target is an awesome addition to the retail landscape in Canada. Not only are they creating thousands of jobs but they will invigorate and drive traffic for all retailers in their circumference. They are providing competition to existing retailers ( Canadian Tire, Walmart ect.) to deliver better pricing, selection and retail experiences. These stores have been shaking in their boots because they know Target has such a strong brand.

It makes me laugh that people are complaining that Target isn’t Canadian, and you should shop elsewhere. I challenge you to go into Canadian Tire or any other “Canadian” retailer and find anything made in North America. It doesn’t matter the retailer, it all comes from the same place: China.

So fellow Canadians, embrace this change with open arms. If you don’t want to shop there, don’t. If you don’t like the prices, go somewhere else. But let the damn place fully open first before berating them! As for me, I’d just like to say to Target : “Welcome, I’d love to be your neighbour.”

28 Responses

    1. ..I think you mean exactly misinformed.. To be short and sweet – (1) They are not creating jobs but contracted with Zellers to keep many and then hire excess from other dept stores (people like to move around in the hopes of something new – textbook psychology); (2) Not everything is made in China. Read a few labels. It depends on the product and clothes vary from all over the world. Electronics depend on the company like Sony for example that has their own exclusive factory in China but with parts and technology from Japan and Taiwan. (3) Walmart wiped out Zellers and closed the gap between them and what is now Hudson’s Bay, Sears, etc….and Hudson’s Bay went up and then back down when their pricing strategy turned out to be a mistake and now they are roaring back. Walmart also brought their business model up here and their pricing strategy..Target US still offers veteran Cdn buyers a reason to go there as Target Canada so far has little reason to shop there vs the other established dept and niche stores here..oh and there is so much more to counter this blog but really why bother..Customers who have already visited the store may go back once or twice more but like most people who have established shopping habits, if they don’t find what they are looking for, they won’t come back..

  1. Ok we get your are coming here and you have taken over some of the Zellers locations, but to start bashing Zellers and their employee’s is not the way to make people like you and want to rush into your stores. Remember former Zellers employee’s are your future targeted customer! To say they are lazy and what not isn’t going to get you alot of fans!! You want us to like you, so you should start out not being ignorant to future customers.

    1. Kristi — you do understand that the comments about Zellers’ employees were made by the blogger, and not Target? He was giving the answers he *wished* Target would give people on their FB page, etc.

    2. I agree with you. Stop cutting Ex Zellers Employees down. They were nice when they were working and they are nice now. It’s not there fault that they all lost their jobs. It was the System. So STOP with bashing Zellers Employees, They are humans and they are defientlly not lazy or stupid.

  2. Why are Target prices in Canada higher than in the US? I thought our dollar was pretty much on par with their’s?

    1. Why are costs of goods different in Canada? Wages are higher, transportation costs are higher, distribution costs are higher, fuel costs are higher, tax rates are different….

  3. Amanda –
    Ummmm, because the cost of living and doing business in Canada is ridiculously higher than the US. If you have an issue with it, talk to your government. Or move to the US and make US wages.

  4. Now lets get one thing straight ok. I see a blogger thing as a person trying to make fun of people. Lets go back to Zellers Employeess. I spent most of my life shopping at Zellers. The Staff there were the best staff in the world. Alot nicer than when one goes into WalMart. You walk into Zellers and you get many smiles and Hellos. You walk into WalMart and they look at you like they want to beat you up. You ask a Zellers employee where something is., They walk you to it. You ask a Wal Mart Staff where something is..They point and say over there and if it is not there,,I don’t know where it is,I don’t work in that Department. find someone that does. The Staff at Zellers were smart. kind and most of all FRIENDS. I think Wal mart needs to grow some brains and wake up to the fact that Target will hire the Staff from Zellers and they will make Wal Mart look like a Back Yard Alley discount used store. Target wake up and smell the coffee and take on Zellers Employees. You will never find a better group of people than the Employees from Zellers. They were there right til the end and I think it is time we all let them have Jobs with Target. Take them on and you will see a great line of happy people and polite members

  5. 3 Cheers for Zellers Employees. You guys and gals were the best. I know I miss you at Mic Mac. I have tears when I pass by and see Target Opening soon..Target if you are wise people,,,you would hire The Zellers Employees and the mall will be a happier place again. They were family and friends to most of the customers and merchants in the mall. Please take it to heart Target and make the Mall smile again. It’s like a Ghost town there and we need them back.

  6. Oh come on folks we are in Canada. The prices are not going to be the same as the Target prices in the States. We are in Canada EH! If you want cheaper prices,,,move the to U.S.A.
    BUT you will pay higher prices when it comes to Medical. So you can not have it both ways. 3 Cheers for Target in Canada..Wal Mart you can go home now. Target is going to blow you out of the waters.

  7. As a former employee of Zellers…can you prove that every employee was lazy and useless…you are tarnishing all the good employees names! I take great offence in what you stated and it is a insult to me personally….and all the other fantastic people that took pride and cared about their jobs. You …..are a ……………………………!

  8. I was in Florida and did some shopping at the local Target . The Staff there were excellent and so much help I received while shopping there. I told them I was a Zellers Employee once and was hoping to get on with Target. They showerd me with free gifts like reusable bags etc.. They said Target wants you ,,,lol I said Like Uncle Sam wants YOU! I think Target will be a great boost to Canada and well it sure would be nice if they would hire back the staff from Zellers.
    Zellers staff are far from lazy and further more..The Staff there were well trained and looked so nice in their reds. OH Gee Target,,,you will be wearing Red also…Hint Hint use the staff from Zellers. Their red will go on in History. HINT HINT Hire the Zellers Staff
    P L E A S E !!!!!!!!!

  9. Hey everyone,
    Why pick on Ex Zellers Employees? They are great people and I can tell you , I shopped on a daily basis at Zellers and everyone went behond their duties to step out and help all customers that walked into their store. The Managers were excellent as well. So pleaseeeeeee stop picking on them and calling them lazy and so on. They are Super people and all they want are jobs at Target. Target needs to see this and hire them.
    I can reassure you Target, you will get great Staff.

  10. WOW! All I can say is WOW!…Amen to all the nice comments about the Zellers Team. I am like Darlene up there.I take offence to them being called lazy and so on. I worked as a Management Team Member, and any time we had to go into a Zellers. The Employess were great with their work skills and never once were they lazy. They were like family to each and everyone that shopped at Zellers. I take offence because when you call them names, YOU are making them look nasty, They were and are human beings that did not quit Zellers, They only left because they lost their jobs. My God, please have mercy and stop picking on them. Sticks and Stones may break their bones,,BUT names will not hurt them. Look in the mirror and think twice before calling names to the people you did not know.

  11. I am going to add some comments on some of my experiance while shopping Zellers Mic Mac Mall. I would go in on Sale Days and shop for towels, sheets and some decor that I needed for home. There was a certain Lady that worked in that area that was so cranky and would go out of her way to be down right rude, when ever asked a question of a product that was in the flyer. Her reply was,,nope all sold out and I am to busy to call another store, I would often ask her things of the rug area and her answer was, I do not work that area ,,so go to the Service Desk and have them page the employee that works there. That to me is not Good Customer Service. Target if you take on this lady, you are making a big mistake. I don’t think she is capable to ever being a great charm to your store. She has no Customer Service ethics.I know her name is Helena somthing..Please do not ruin it for your Reputation and hire her.I will never get her cranky image away from my thoughts. I did call Management many times, and they were as bad as she is. I did call Head Office and they were aware of her situation and would contact the Store of her complaint. I think because they were closing, they did not wsih to let her go until the store closed. Do us a great thing, do not hire her on to Target.
    I live right across the street from the Mall. So I plan to shop at Target many times. Being a Senoir, I expect respect as well.
    Thank YOU

  12. Simply put like many customers I was filled with enthusiasm when I discovered that Target was selected to take over the Zellers location in the southside of Fredericton,New Brunswick and on opening night I stepped foot in the store and the truth is that although I don’t dislike the store and although I’m not in favor of the Target Canada chain going “belly up” I feel that it doesn’t entirely meet my expectations compared to U.S. Targets I been to ( if necessary to point out but I’ve visited and shopped at Target stores in Minnesota (downtown and suburban Minneapolis),Hoffman Estates,Illinois and Bangor,Maine) and the reason being is cause there somewhat seems to be less variety of goods or merchandise with the local Target Store compared to these U.S. Target outlets I’ve visited and shopped at and unlike the Target Canada chain and or the local Target outlet the U.S. chain (at least the locations or some of the locations I’ve entered) feature a cafeteria that serves popcorn and Pizza Hut pizza and some pasta.Finally although I don’t expect Target Canada to develop cafeterias I nonetheless hope that they come up with a way or innovative way to stay “afloat” so to speak.

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