retail news in context, analysis with attitude

In Toronto, the Globe and Mail reports that Target's new CEO, Brian Cornell, "is taking a hands-on approach to fixing the company’s problems in Canada, making regular trips to check stores here as he heads into the all-important holiday season.":

According to the story, Cornell "has 'put on pause' the company’s earlier plan to appoint a non-executive chairperson with domestic experience to oversee the troubled Canadian operations.

"The close involvement in the Canadian division of Target’s top executive underscores the seriousness of the situation for the big U.S. retailer. The Canadian operation lost almost $1-billion (U.S.) last year and the red ink has continued to flow in 2014, as consumers complained about high prices and empty shelves." Out of stocks continue to be a problem for Target in Canada, with products offered in the store's advertising circulars often not available on shelves.

“This is about back to basics,” Cornell tells the paper. “My message to the team is not about what’s new, what’s exciting, some magic new change we’re going to make. It’s about doing all the fundamentals well and executing the Target experience in Canada … Tomorrow is not fast enough. There has to be a sense of urgency."
KC's View:
It sounds like Target's Canada problems are similar to the problems that I've seen in many of its US stores, only on steroids. I think this is all going to be a long-haul fix for Cornell, and that anybody expecting quick results is going to be disappointed.