This past week has been an important one for Canadian business, as Target Canada decides to close up shop at all of its locations in Canada, mimicking the move of other retailers such as Sony, mexx, and SmartSet. To those of us on the consumer end, all this means less variety and competition to choose from. However, that allows market leaders like Walmart, BestBuy and Gap to have more control on their pricing strategies, which will very likely not turn out in the favour of money spenders, not to mention all those who have suddenly lost their jobs.
Recent findings show that online shopping tends to be growing at a faster rate than traditional shopping, according to comScore, however the Target case is a special one that cannot be blamed on e-commerce's popularity. As they frankly mentioned, they expanded too fast and overall, missed the target.
Canadian shoppers felt they were not getting the equivalent experience of their counterparts south of the border. Shelves often left empty, no prices were as smile-inducing as those from Walmart, not even the Starbucks built into some of their locales could save them. I distinctly remember that blistering June day I was given an opportunity for an overly-complicated interviewing at my local Holiday Inn during the Target Career Fair, only to be told 7 days later I didn't qualify. In fact, I knew at least dozens of people who got refused and to this day, I have reason to believe all their turning-down helped in generating a negative image. Lesson learned here: don't advertise jobs to thousands of people that you will knowingly disappoint.
In a time where the Canadian dollar is at its lowest in almost 5 years (as I write this now, a loonie is worth about four-fifths of a George Washington), the future is only looking more grim. Companies like Target that do a great deal of strengthening our foreign investment are actually in a beautiful position for settling in right now as the currency exchange is so low. And yet, there's still all the job loss and still all the exodus of a country that foreshadows financial drought. It will be challenging to define how a place like Canada will keep itself wet and appealing for business germination. One thing that must be kept in mind- is it better to let in the big companies that will eventually screw up and leave us with everlasting damage, or to keep the work coming and hope the course of economic cycles will find its path?