Well, Canada, you got to experience the joys of Target shopping for almost two years, but no more. The company has decided to pull itself out of the country after first launching there in March 2013, it announced today. Brian Cornell, Target Corp. CEO since last summer, explained in a statement that after careful review, "we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021," though he admitted the decision to shut down Canadian operations was "very difficult." The cash cost to the company to shut down its 133 stores, which employ about 17,600 people, will be between $500 million and $600 million, according to the Toronto Star.
The stores will stay open during a liquidation period to be supervised by the court, but it sounds like Canadians may not even want to do any last-minute shopping: The Globe and Mail notes that there have been many complaints of bare shelves, high prices, and products not being carried north of the border. As for the workers, "nearly all Target Canada-based employees receive a minimum of 16 weeks of compensation, including wages and benefits coverage for employees who are not required for the full wind-down period," the company says. The company's failed foray into Canada, one Vancouver retail consultant hypothesizes, will "be seen as one of the all-time retail blunders." (Read more Target stories.)