Target announced today that it will discontinue all operations in Canada. The decision comes less than two years after the retail company began an aggressive but mismanaged expansion into the country that ultimately lost the company billions.
As part of the process, Target’s Canadian division – which currently has 133 stores and employs approximately 17,600 people – has filed an application for liquidation, and expects to report approximately $5.4 billion of pre-tax losses on discontinued operations this quarter.
All employees who are not needed to help discontinue operations will receive a minimum of 16 weeks compensation, the company said.
Last year was a rough and tumultuous one for Target. In the spring, the Minneapolis-based retailer gave then CEO Gregg Steinhafel the ax as it worked to recover from the devastating hack job that compromised the personal data from millions of shoppers over the holiday season.
Since taking the reins from Steinhafel, current CEO Brian Cornell has worked to stem the hemorrhaging losses from the company’s botched Canadian expansion, which was marred by pricing problems and serious inventory problems that left many shelves bare.
“When I joined Target, I promised our team and shareholders that I would take a hard look at our business and operations in an effort to improve our performance and transform our company. After a thorough review of our Canadian performance and careful consideration of the implications of all options, we were unable to find a realistic scenario that would get Target Canada to profitability until at least 2021,“ Cornell said in a release announcing the news. "This was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision for our company.”