Target Canada is looking to improve business performance with a new set of initiatives that the company has unveiled on the heels of some leadership changes last spring, as well as a comprehensive review of its Canadian operations.
Among the initiatives, Target unveiled a new price-match policy and unveiled a long-term partnership with celebrity designer Sarah Richardson, set to launch next year. Richardson’s new line of home décor will debut exclusively at Target Canada beginning in fall 2015.
Target Canada will be offering price matching for any local competitor's flyer or weekly ad (print or online), as well as for select online retailers, including Amazon.ca, Walmart.ca, Bestbuy.ca, Toysrus.ca, Babiesrus.ca, CanadianTire.ca, Futureshop.ca and Sears.ca.
Additionally, customers will now be able to use apps, such as reebee and flipp to price match, instead of bringing in a printed flyer. And customers will be able to complete price matching at the register instead of having to go via guest service.
"We've been listening to our guests and taking a hard look at where we need to improve," said Mark Schindele, president, Target Canada. "We've uncovered the root cause of some of our challenges and are focused on three main areas: improving in-stocks, sharpening our pricing strategy and enhancing our merchandise assortment."
In addition to Schindele, John Butcher, SVP of merchandising, and Janna Adair-Potts, SVP of stores and distribution, recently joined an experienced guest-focused leadership team. Target's search for a non-executive chair with deep Canadian experience is ongoing.
"If we see a like item priced higher at Target, we'll lower it," said Schindele. "And with the addition of our price match guarantee, and 5% off every purchase with a REDcard, guests should be confident they're getting the best price at Target."
The retailer is also addressing in-stock issues, and is conducting a physical count of inventory at all stores, resulting in a reset of systems, and more accurate ordering and shipping data. It aims to better forecast and allocate product based on sales history and promotional plans to ensure the right amount of product is in the right place at the right time; to adjust delivery schedules so stores receive merchandise more frequently; and to provide new training and processes to headquarters and in-store teams to create good routines and engaging store team members.
"We know we still have work to do, but the entire Target team is focused on continuous improvement so that Canadian guests will have the Target experience they deserve," Schindele said.