Target Canada unveils initiatives to enhance operations

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — On the heels of some leadership changes and a review of its Canadian operations, Target Canada has announced several initiatives aimed at improving its business performance and to better deliver the Target brand experience to Canadian guests.

“We’ve been listening to our guests and taking a hard look at where we need to improve,” stated Mark Schindele, president, Target Canada. “We’ve uncovered the root cause of some of our challenges and are focused on three main areas: improving in-stocks, sharpening our pricing strategy and enhancing our merchandise assortment.”

In addition to Schindele, John Butcher, SVP of merchandising, and Janna Adair-Potts, SVP of stores and distribution, recently joined the leadership team. Target’s search for a non-executive chair with deep Canadian experience is ongoing, the company stated.

Among the announcements, Target unveiled a number of merchandise initiatives, including a long-term partnership with celebrity designer Sarah Richardson, set to launch next year.

Target’s partnership with Richardson will bring her combination of colors and patterns to a new line of home décor beginning in fall 2015, only at Target Canada.

Target Canada also announced a number of additional merchandise improvements, responding to guest reaction and requests, including:
• Partnering with Roots to extend the exclusive Beaver Canoe assortment, with expanded home décor, and the addition of new apparel like sleepwear and slippers coming this fall.
• In apparel, expanding the maternity assortment by 50% in September.  In addition, Nick & Nora, the U.S. women’s fashion line, will be available in Target Canada stores next year. The previously announced Altuzarra for Target designer collaboration launches Sept. 14. Also, early next year a plus size line will be introduced.
• Expanded cosmetic lineups, 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 NYX line in October.
• In September, Target Canada is launching an exclusive brand of household cleaners called Better Life, as well as the exclusive eco-friendly line Ecover from Europe.
• In home, the launch of the exclusive line of appliances called French Bull. In addition, this fall Target Canada will also be bringing to stores a new range of small appliance brands some of which have been previously unavailable in mass retail.
• Overall, between now and Christmas, Target will be bringing more than 30,000 new items to its assortment, from the upcoming Halloween and Holiday assortments, to fall apparel.

In response to guest feedback, Target Canada also announced a new price match policy, which includes:
• Price matching for any local competitor’s flyer or weekly ad (print or online), and price matching for select online retailers, including Amazon.ca, Walmart.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Toysrus.ca, Babiesrus.ca, CanadianTire.ca, Futureshop.ca and Sears.ca.
• Guests can now use popular apps, such as reebee and flipp to price match, instead of bringing a printed flyer.
• Price match can now be completed at the register instead of guest service.

Target Canada has also added about 1,000 additional items to its roster of 20,000 items that are regularly shopped, to compare prices with its largest competitors.

“If we see a like item priced higher at Target, we’ll lower it,” added Schindele. “And with the addition of our price match guarantee, and 5% off every purchase with a REDcard, guests should be confident they’re getting the best price at Target.”

In addition, Target Canada has undertaken a variety of initiatives to address in-stock issues, including:
• A physical count of inventory at all stores, resulting in a reset of systems, and more accurate ordering and shipping data.
• Better forecasting and allocation of product based on sales history and promotional plans to ensure the right amount of product is in the right place at the right time.
• Adjusting delivery schedules so stores receive merchandise more frequently.
• Providing new training and processes to headquarters and in-store teams to create good routines and engaging store team members.
 

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