The Target Big Mistake

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TheTarget Big Mistake


TheTarget Big Mistake


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The Target Corporation Analysis

Watsonargues that the Target Canada had a “mutated brand DNA.” By this,he means that the company has completely distorted its brand bygiving it a permanent alteration, such that the historicalcomposition is no longer there (Watson,2015).As such, it is apparent that the company ignored its past lessonswhen it attempted to expand to Canada with the same promise of thebrand, which had made the company successful in the US. On the otherhand, Watson also mentions that the company was a “basket-casesubsidiary.” By saying so, he means that the company was in adverseeconomic or financial strains, especially that the subsidiary of thebusiness cannot pay its debts.

Moreover,Watson argues that the expansion of the Target Company in Canadafailed because the firm strayed from the founding principles of thecompany. Among these principles are first, theprinciple of conducting the market research,and secondly, the principleof inventory management.The principle of conducting research has always been successful forthe company, but this was ignored in Canada. The second principle,the principle of innovation in inventory management has also beenvery successful for Target (Watson,2015).In the past, the company could not allow the empty shelves todissatisfy the consumers.

TargetCanada failed to meet its “expect-more-pay-less” promise in avariety of ways. The first way was givingup the control over the experience of the company.The Target Corporation lost the capacity to take the things in a slowmanner while conceding the capacity to get the locations right. As aresult, the company management gave up the control over the TargetCorporation experience, which had won the business in Canada, toomuch goodwill. The second way was poormanagement of inventory.In the US, the company never allowed the empty shelves to dissatisfyits customers. However, this was not the case in Canada. As a result,the company ran low of inventory. Another issue that made the companyfail to deliver its promise was pricing(Watson,2015).InCanada, the company wanted to treat the consumers as guests. Offeringmore of everything meant a higher price, and this was not practical.

Lessonsfrom the failed expansion of Target to Canada

  1. Openness is the key to the success and trust of the business. Target could have succeeded if it had a good two-way communication with employees, and addressed the concerns of the company such as pricing, marketing, and supply chain.

  2. It is paramount to conduct research before entering any new market. Never assume to have all the answers (Halman, Pettersson &amp Esmer, 2008).

  3. There is no harm in collaborating with the potential competitors. Target ignored partnering with other companies, and it failed.

Adviceto retailers who want to succeed in Canada

  1. The Canadians are moderate people, more moderate than Americans in their shopping. As such, the new entrants should give the Canadians, a good reason to buy therefore, they should do a lot of research and analysis on the Canadian market.

  2. The Canadians are voracious buyers. As such, the new entrants must ensure that their products are necessities (a must have product), and the deals must be good. Their store must be fully stoked as well.


Halman,L., Pettersson, T., &amp Esmer, Y. (2008). Changingvalues, persisting cultures.Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill.

Watson,T. (2015). TargetBig Mistake: Mutated DNA | Ivey Business 20 March 2016, from