May 20, 2014 – Originally published by The New York Times

Luke Sklar, the founder of Sklar Wilton and Associates, a marketing and retail consulting firm in Toronto, said that while Walmart, Starbucks and other large American companies initially stumbled when they entered the Canadian market, Target’s problems have been outsize.

“It’s a shocking, shocking level of misstep,” Mr. Sklar said. “It’s going to take them longer and cost more to resolve than they think.”

Mr. Sklar said Target came into Canada during a period of usually intense retail competition, particularly in Ontario, the most populous province. Walmart Canada’s introduction of a full line of fresh groceries in many of its stores was countered with a price war by rivals. At the same time, many Canadian grocery retailers, particularly the Loblaw Companies, expanded successfully into clothing and household goods.

“The Canadians did not sit still this time,” Mr. Sklar said.

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