The company announced the news today in a statement from Brian Cornell, Target Corporation Chairman and CEO, reports the Toronto Star:
“After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021,” he says in the statement. “Personally, this was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision for our company. With the full support of Target Corporation’s Board of Directors, we have determined that it is in the best interest of our business and our shareholders to exit the Canadian market and focus on driving growth and building further momentum in our U.S. business.”
Canada’s 133 Target stores employ about 17,600 people, with “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.
Target says it’ll cost about $500 million to $600 million in cash to shut things down in the wintry north, with stores remaining open during a court-supervised liquidation period. Things were supposed to get better during the holidays after an added effort, but alas, it wasn’t enough.
“We hoped that these efforts in Canada would lead to a successful holiday season, but we did not see the required step-change in our holiday performance,” said CEO Cornell. “There is no doubt that the next several weeks will be difficult, but we will make every effort to handle our exit in an appropriate and orderly way.”
Target to close up shop in Canada [Toronto Star]