Sears Canada Offers Criticism Of Target Canada, Discount And Jobs To Workers

Last week, Target announced that it is fleeing Canada, giving up on its ill-fated expansion and closing all 133 of its poorly-stocked stores that nobody wants to shop in. An unlikely source has publicly offered support to Target employees who are about to lose their jobs: quasi-competitor Sears Canada.

Sears Canada has invited Target employees to apply for open jobs at Sears Canada stores, since apparently there are some. The company is also offering the same employee discount that its own workers get to Target employees, which will last for the next sixteen weeks.

Target Canada and Sears have more of a connection than you might think. Sears Canada is a joint venture that’s partly owned by Sears Holdings, the company created when Kmart and Sears united in 2005. Kmart once had stores in Canada, but sold them to Canadian discount chain Zellers in 1998. When Zellers closed in turn, winding down from 2011 to 2013, Target Canada took over many of those store sites. Sure, Kmart and Sears weren’t part of the company at the time, but this still serves to remind us: retail is a cyclical business.

The company’s acting president and CEO, Ronald Boire, commented that Target’s Canadian expansion simply ignored how diverse Canada is, pointing out that there are big differences between shoppers in Montreal and Toronto, even though both are major cities in the eastern part of the country. “You can’t just cookie cutter a strategy into the market and have it play out the way you want,” he told Canada’s Business News Network. (Warning: auto-play video)

Sears Canada has been doing better than its American cousin, but that’s not saying very much. They even leveraged one employee’s celebrity connection, creating a particularly awful commercial featuring actor and noted Canadian Mike Myers, whose brother works for the company.

Sears Canada Offers Target Canada’s Workers Discounts, Invites Them to Apply for Jobs [Wall Street Journal]

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