All the buzz around Target’s arrival in Canada may have backfired.

The major retailer's three Canadian stores that opened in early March have experienced overwhelming demand, senior vice-president of merchandising for Target Canada John Morioka said Monday.

“We thought that there would be an initial sort of bump, but the bump has not leveled off to the degree that we thought,” he said, according to the Financial Post. “That has probably been the most surprising part of it — that we haven’t been able to recover [in those three stores] because we are always surprised by the demand.”

Some shoppers have even complained about a lack of inventory.

"Target in Guelph, please stock up and fill the shelves -- almost everything has been shopped up. How can I or anyone purchase if there is nothing left for me to buy?" Mona Ghandour wrote on Target Canada’s Facebook page.

“There (were) some empty shelves, but not sure what people expect when there were only THREE pilot stores to open. The parking lot was packed for a 9:30 p.m. Saturday night,” Stacey Uhran-Morley commented.

Milk and clothes went particularly quickly, according to The Globe and Mail. And while some stores, like Apple, try to lure customers back by intentionally keeping stocks of certain products low, that isn’t Target’s current strategy in Canada.

Target pointed out that the stores in Guelph, Fergus and Milton are used to “train team members and test our systems as we determine store readiness,” something Target Canada president Tony Fisher mentioned before the locations had “soft openings” on March 5.

Morioka said the stores have adjusted their operations, increasing checkout speeds and fine-tuning deliveries, according to Mississauga.com.

On Monday, Target Canada announced its plans to open more 18 stores today and three more on March 28. The retailer will open 124 locations across Canada in all of 2013.

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  • Target Opens In Canada

    A Canada flag flies on a customer's car parked in front of the new Target store in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. Target's expansion into Canada is continuing in big way over the next two weeks as the American retailer opens 21 new stores in Ontario.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Tony Fisher, President of Target Canada, speaks to the media during a tour of the new Target store in Guelph, Ontario. Target announced that it is opening three pilot stores in Guelph, Fergus and Milton, Ontario March 5, 2013, the first of 124 Target stores to open in Canada, Media were given a preview tour, Monday, March 4, 2013.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Employees work on preparing the new Target store in Guelph, Ontario. Target announced that it is opening three pilot stores in Guelph, Fergus and Milton, Ontario March 5, 2013, the first of 124 Target stores to open in Canada, Media were given a preview tour, Monday, March 4, 2013.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Employees welcome the first shoppers who lined up for the new Target store in in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. The company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Hundreds of shoppers wait for the opening of the new Target store in in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. The company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Tony Fisher, President of Target Canada, speaks to the media during a tour of the new Target store in Guelph, Ontario. Target announced that it is opening three pilot stores in Guelph, Fergus and Milton, Ontario March 5, 2013, the first of 124Target stores to open in Canada, Media were given a preview tour, Monday, March 4, 2013.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Employees work on preparing the new Target store in Guelph, Ontario. Target announced that it is opening three pilot stores in Guelph, Fergus and Milton, Ontario March 5, 2013, the first of 124 Target stores to open in Canada, Media were given a preview tour, Monday, March 4, 2013.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Employees work on preparing the new Target store in Guelph, Ontario. Target announced that it is opening three pilot stores in Guelph, Fergus and Milton, Ontario March 5, 2013, the first of 124 Target stores to open in Canada, Media were given a preview tour, Monday, March 4, 2013.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Shopper Sam Skelhorn waits in a tent for the opening of the new Target store in in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. The company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Hundreds of shoppers wait for the opening of the new Target store in in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. The company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Employees welcome the first shoppers who lined up for the new Target store in in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. The company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    Hundreds of shoppers wait for the opening of the new Target store in in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. The company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada.

  • Target Opens In Canada

    First customers Scott Lester (left) and Sam Skelhorn exit the new Target store with their purchases in Guelph, Ont. on Tuesday March 5, 2013. The company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada.

  • U.S. Retailers Coming To Canada: Bloomingdale's

    The iconic American upscale retailer is in talks with Hudson's Bay Company to become a "store within a store" at HBC locations in Canada. The move is seen as an attempt by The Bay to fight off the possible arrival of Nordstrom's (see next slide).

  • U.S. Retailers Coming To Canada: Nordstrom

    One of the most prominent competitors to Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom announced in September, 2012, that it plans to open locations in Cadillac Fairview-owned malls in Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver. The stores will open in former Sears locations.

  • U.S. Retailers Coming To Canada: Marshalls

    Discount retailer Marshalls entered the Canadian market in March, 2011, and recently announced an expansion of six new stores in Ontario. At least a dozen of its 750 stores are now located in Canada.

  • U.S. Retailers Coming To Canada: Lowe's

    The home improvement retailer began moving into the Canadian market in 2007, with a store in Hamilton, Ontario. It has since expanded to 31 locations in Ontario and Alberta.

  • U.S. Retailers Coming To Canada: J. Crew

    Ritzy fashion chain J. Crew opened its first Canadian location in the summer of 2011, and immediately ran into public anger about the U.S.-Canada price gap. Shoppers complained that J. Crew's Canadian prices were about 15 per cent higher than in the U.S.


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