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.