Target Revamps Supply Chain, To Match Prices In Canada

New Target Canada president said company should not have opened 124 stores and three distribution centers so quickly.

Target’s new president of Canadian operations announced this week a revamp of its overwhelmed supply chain and a new price-match policy following a tumultuous first year in business in the country.

Target lost nearly $1 billion last year after opening 124 stores and three distribution centers in Canada in what marked the biggest single-year store opening cycle in the company’s history.

Mark Schindele, a 15-year Target veteran, became the Minneapolis-based retail giant’s president of Canadian operations in May, replacing the ousted Tony Fisher. Target’s woes in Canada were among the recent setbacks that preceded longtime CEO Gregg Steinhafel stepping down in May.  

This week, Schindele told Reuters that the company should not have opened the amount of stores and distribution centers it did in Canada so quickly. Schindele also said a new Canadian technology system experienced problems during the rollout of the new stores, which led to stores having trouble keeping items in stock.

And the items customers could find bore price tags too steep for their liking: Target Canada faced a deluge of customer complaints that its prices were often higher than comparative products at its U.S. stores.

In response, the company announced Wednesday a new price-match policy in which it will match competitors print or online weekly ads and prices on select online retail sites like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Target employs the same price-match policy at its U.S. stores.

To shore up its supply chain, Schindele said all of Target Canada’s stores will begin tracking inventory, pledged to better forecast products based on sales history and promotional plans, and promised to adjust delivery schedules.

Target Canada also announced Wednesday that it would roll out more than 30,000 new items between now and Christmas and unveiled a partnership with Canadian celebrity designer Sarah Richardson, whose line of home decor is slated to appear on shelves in Fall 2015.

“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 in a statement.