Target Corporation: The Canadian Decision Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Problem Statement

            The major problem that has been identified in the case is that Target Canada has been plagued with the challenge of poor sales, operational challenges and the increasing competition which is resulted in high losses for the company in Canada.

            Therefore, to overcome the issues that have been prevalent in the case, the company needs to decide its future in Canada. Should the company look to stay in the Canadian market, however the profits for Target are many years away. The company is also facing the issue where the United States investors have become impatient; therefore the CEO has to decide upon the future strategy of the Target stores in Canada.


Key goals:

The major or the key goal for Target Canada is to expand itself in the market. As for now Target Corporation has been the second largest retial store in the United States behind Wal Mart. With the resources, revenues, expertise and the experience in the field, the company has been planning to enter a new market that is the Canadian market. Along with this, another major goal for Target is to increase its customer base which is limited to the United States customers at the moment. Once the company shall be able to devise a plan for the Canadian market, it is all set to successfully run in the new market. Another goal for the company while entering the Canadian market is to once it becomes successful in this market; the management shall look to explore new markets also such as the North American and the Asian markets. However, all the decisions shall be reliant u-pon the success and the level of customer satisfaction Target Canada Corporation can achieve in the new market.

Key issues:

            There have been three major or the key issues that have been presented in the case. The first and the foremost issue for the company Target Canada is to overcome the issue of empty shelves.

            As the case states, since the company has introduced a new distribution system the company has been unable to deliver the products to the stores on timely basis. Along with this, the number of products that are placed in shelves in Canadian stores are also quite less as compared to the number of products in the United States stores.

            The second key issues are the increased prices of products in Canadian stores. The customers have been complaining that the prices of products in the local stores of the United States are less as compared to the prices in this market. Therefore, the customers have been quite concerned.

            The final issue that has been discussed in the case is that since the stores taken by Target were previously owned by Zeller, therefore the stores still show a feel of the old stores. Although Target is an established brand therefore it needs to introduce and develop its own identiy rather than being a confused brand.

The issues that have been presented above have been the major cause of concern for the management of Target Corporation because most of the customers, the culture and demographics, the spending patterns have been same for the two markets; still Target Canada has been a failed attempt until now.


            The alternatives for Target Canada based on the issues that have been presented in the case are as follows:

Compete in the Canadian market:

            The first alternative for Target Canada shall be to compete in the local Canadian market. Although the sales are quite disappointing today, but it shall increase once the company shall be able to overcome the issues operations, competition, etc. Competing in Canadian market shall allow Target to increase its customer base and also remain a part of almost the same culture. The major disadvantage of this alternative is that it is costly move and one which has to face stiff competition.

Effective distribution network:

            The second alternative for Target Canada shall be aligning itself with the already developed distribution network that is being used in United States. As the case states, the company had formed a new and an entirely different distribution network, however, the results have been poor customers have complained about empty shelves, therefore, it should integrate the already successful business model or the effective distribution network within the company. The disadvantage of sustaining with the current structure is that it has not been tested in Canada, and since the business methods are rather different most likely is the fact that it might fail...............................

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