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Canadian Retail: Here抯 exactly what Target plans to sell to woo back CanadiansThursday, September 11, 2014 > 09:53:41
(Global News) By Jamie Sturgeon
Expect better deals on a bigger and slicker assortment of items like brand-name fashions, baby clothing, toys and home decorations at Target Canada within weeks as the retailer races to win back Canadian shoppers.
Wellness products such as organic-labeled foods and environmentally friendly house cleaning supplies will also be dangled to catch consumers’ eyes.
Target Canada's new head, Mark Schindele, sheds light on how the discount chain will re-connect with Canadian shoppers. The U.S. chain's launch in Canada has gone far less smoothly than expected. Target outlines plans to win Canadian shoppers back.
With fewer customers walking through the doors at both U.S. and Canadian locations this year, Brian Cornell, the new head of Minneapolis-based Target says he’s zeroing in on just a handful of key product categories aimed at wooing them back.
“All categories can’t be prioritized the same,” Mr. Cornell said in an interview published on WSJ.com on Wednesday.
“We’ve got to major in these signature categories and make some bold changes to re-energize those businesses,” he said.
Cornell was set to address company and store leaders Wednesday at Target’s fall national meeting. A spokesperson said the Canadian leadership team, including the heads of the 130-plus Target stores in Canada, were scheduled to be in attendance.
In the address, Cornell is said to be highlighting three main areas of focus: baby and children’s products, including diapers, clothes and toys; wellness products like organic foods, and so-called “design and fashion” items such as trendy clothes and home furnishings.
Canadian retail experts said the moves will put a spotlight on the kinds of products that give Target the chic image other discount chains – namely Wal-Mart – lack.
Bolstering the baby and fashion selections with slightly more premium products – accompanied by effective marketing to spread the message – should win back the key young female demographic critical to Target’s success in the U.S. and now Canada, some say.
“You have to know what you’re known for,” Keith Howlett, a retail stock expert at Desjardins said. “They match Wal-Mart on all the commodities, but really [people] are going there for more stylish items, and things that aren’t available at Wal-Mart or of comparable style.”
Fresh aim at trendy
Target is planning a massive revamp of its product lineup in Canada this fall, swapping out some 30,000 products, or just under half of its in-store items with new products.
New apparel like sleepwear and slippers are coming this fall, while the exclusive agreement with Roots is being broadened into home décor items.
Maternity clothes and products are being expanded by 50 per cent. While U.S. women’s fashion lines like Nick & Nora and the Altuzarra for Target designer collection are being added.
Canadian locations will be expanding their cosmetic lineups, as well, through an exclusive partnership with e.l.f. and the addition of an “e.l.f. essential” line, as well as tripling the space allotted for the popular NYX line in October.
Lost appetite for grocery?
Target’s U.S. locations have increased sales in recent years by adding more and more food items to the discount retailers assortment.
But Cornell, whose background includes extensive experience in grocery retail, sounds as if that expansionary effort could be changing direction.
“Clearly, it [grocery] didn’t make the top list of categories, but over the next few months, we’re going to decide what we stand for in the food space,” he said in the article. “That’s a work in progress.”
Cornell said Target isn’t exiting any product categories, and Canadian experts say Target’s grocery lines, such as its private label Archer Farms, will be sold in stores as long as Target stores are open in Canada.
They’re going to be looking at what food items sell and what don’t, and what best caters to that convenience purchase shoppers at the store will be looking for.
“They’re going to have to be in grocery,” Howlett said. “But he’s honing the emphasis. ‘We’re going to be great at what we’re known for.’”