Target opened more than 100 stores in Canada last year.
But the discount chain’s expansion up north has been a bumpy one. Company executives admitted that inventory didn’t sell as quickly as they expected, which hurt profits.
Wall Street analyst Brian Sozzi at Belus Capital Advisors recently published photos of Target Canada that indicate why the business could be struggling.
His images portray understocked shelves and disorganized displays.
Take this freezer, which is looks understocked and empty:
“Look at the dominant clearance signs on the cheap chic items Target is known for in the U.S.,” Sozzi writes.
This emptiness is also apparent in the beauty section:
And in home goods, one of the greatest triumphs of Target U.S.
“It looks as if workers are being told to push up merchandise on the shelves because the store is unsure on when new shipments will arrive,” Sozzi writes.
These empty shelves are pretty bad in the apparel section.
“Why have a display wall at all?” he asks.
Where there should be multiple rows of products, Target Canada is thinly displaying just one or two bottles of detergent at a time:
The shoe display is no better:
Meanwhile, the clearance section offers products for 90% off. “That type of discount is alarming at a newly opened business,” Sozzi said.
Some shelves, like those in the paper towel aisle, appear empty:
And that emptiness even extends to food:
“One almost is overcome with this creepy feeling (at least we are given our close tracking of the situation) that Target will go the way of many U.S. brands that ventured into Canadian retailing…extinct,” Sozzi writes.
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