Survey: Has Target Canada Disappointed Shoppers?

Target CanadaToronto—Expanding internationally is always challenging, but Target may be running into some unanticipated difficulties with its Canadian market expansion.

The mass merchant, which this year is in the process of setting up 124 stories in former Zellers locations, has its work cut out for it.

According to a customer satisfaction survey by Canadian shoppers conducted by Forum Research, Target has so far apparently disappointed consumers. The company only scored a 27% “very satisfied” rating, down from 32% in a similar survey conducted in April.

However, other U.S. retailers expanding into Canada, saw their ratings improve. Costco took the top spot with a 62% “very satisfied” rating, keeping its top spot. Walmart received a 40% “very satisfied” rating, up from 39%.

Overall, Target scored a mean 2.7 out of 4, compared with Costco’s 3.5, Walmart’s 3.1 and a 3.2 average. Satisfaction relates to service, prices and/or merchandise offerings, Forum reported.

‘Responding as Fast as We Can’

“There was a lot of hype before Target entered the country,” Lorne Bozinoff, Forum’s president, said. “Now that people have shopped there, I think there is a bit of a letdown.”

Target Canada admitted some growing pains north of the border in June. Tony Fisher, Target Canada’s president said the retailer was still adjusting demand based upon sales. “We’re responding as fast as we can.”

Lisa Gibson, a Target spokesperson, said the company has made impressive strides in its first international market, having built three distribution centers, renovated 68 stores in five provinces, and hired and trained thousands of employees.

In fact, Target’s own internal customer satisfaction surveys show “continuous improvement,” Gibson said. “Target encourages feedback and we take it very seriously.” The retailer found that its customer satisfaction approval has had a marked increase as more stores open.

More results may be revealed Wednesday when Target releases its second quarter earnings report.



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