Ever since Target opened its doors in Canada, there have been complaints that the chain did not have enough inventory on hand to meet demand. The chain put a bright face on the issue up front by talking about how traffic to stores was exceeding its expectation.
Well, Target opened its first stores earlier this year and there is a new report that Canadians are growing less fond of the chain as time goes by. The reason the honeymoon may be over is that consumers say they continue to encounter out-of-stocks and also believe they are paying higher prices for the same items purchased in Target's U.S. stores.
According to a customer satisfaction survey by Forum Research, Target is at the bottom of the list among major chains in Canada, and its score is down from four months ago.
Target Canada spokesperson Lisa Gibson told the Globe and Mail that the chain is still in the "early days" in Canada, and its own surveys indicate improvements in customer satisfaction.
One of Target's selling points in Canada are promises that it offers a better shopping experience than its rivals, most notably Walmart. As early as February, Target was boasting in commercials that consumers could expect "a short line... every time" at its checkouts. Of course, if out-of-stocks cause Canadians to shop elsewhere, that will be certainly become more true, and that is not a good thing.
How long should it have taken Target Canada to get its inventory issues in check once they were identified as a problem?