The end has come. Target Canada will close the last of its 133 stores to the public on April 12.
The retailer has already shut down 46 stores across Canada and will close another 32 on April 2; 18 on April 4; and 24 on April 8. The final 13 stores will close just days after that.
One Target Canada store manager told CBC News that sales at his store should be offering discounts of 90 per cent on its final day and that prices will be slashed by up to 98 per cent in the last two hours.
Some Target locations may remain open after the final date to continue fixtures sales. As part of the company's liquidation process, everything must go in the stores including shelving, lighting, and office supplies.
Target Canada's three distribution centres and Mississauga, Ont., headquarters have already been shut down.
"We are pleased with the results of the liquidation sales to date and the speed at which we have moved through the wind-down process. We want to once again thank all Target Canada team members for their hard work and great adaptability through this process," said Aaron Alt, Target Canada CEO in a statement.
Target Canada was granted court protection from its creditors on Jan. 15, claiming it couldn't make a profit for at least another five years.
The retailer originally suggested that it would stick around until mid-May.
But its early departure is no surprise to customer strategy adviser, Mark Satov. "What are they going to stay around for if they're not making operating profit, if they're not generating cash?" he asks. "They don't care about the goodwill. Let's go home and move on."
The retailer is also undergoing a court-supervised sale of its leases and expects to wrap up the process by the end of June.
Many of Target Canada's roughly 17,600 employees will stay on the payroll past April 12. Workers are not getting severance, but the company said it would continue paying them their average working hours until mid-May.
Stores have been plagued by absent workers and low morale during the retailer's final days.
Nordstrom is coming
While Target is leaving town, Nordstrom has just begun its Canadian invasion.
The American department store recently opened locations in Calgary and Ottawa. It plans to set up shop in Vancouver on Sept. 18 and three locations in Toronto by 2017.
Unlike Target, which opened 133 stores in less than two years, Nordstrom is planning a slow Canadian expansion that includes plenty of research to monitor public reaction.
"We're really focused on being the best Nordstrom store that we can be and we know we're new to Canada and that we have a lot to learn. Just because we opened a store in Calgary and Ottawa doesn't mean that we're experts," says spokesman John Bailey
He adds, "When we open a store we are in it for the long term."
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