Target’s last days; and a goodbye to Future Shop

I find myself not wanting to think too much into this because I fear what the answer means for all of us.

Target Canada will be closed by mid-April. Is this the sign of things to come for Canadian retail? Photo copyright Sheri Landry

The final date for our local Target has been set. The West Edmonton Mall location will close on April 2nd. It wasn’t the first to close, and the rest will be gone by mid-April.

I’ve posted before about Target Canada’s liquidation, but I’m seeing more ripples in our Canadian market happening. I can imagine Canadian competitors have been waiting for the doors to finally close as everyone is getting hurt by these rock bottom prices now. If given the option, would you pay full price at a different store, or grab it up at 70% off during the liquidation?

Target in West Edmonton Mall on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Photo credits to Sheri Landry (thisbirdsday.com)

Target in West Edmonton Mall on Saturday, March 28, 2015. This location will close on April 2, 2015.

There’s nothing wrong with picking it up on sale, but this does affect everyone in retail from clothing, toys, beauty, pharmacy, and everything else that Target sold.

The company that owns Ricki’s, Cleo, and Bootlegger is also downsizing under court protection and right now it is unclear how many stores will close and people will be affected by this once it is all said and done.

Add to that, Best Buy announced on Saturday they were closing all Future Shops and laying off approximately 1500 of their staff.

Best Buy is closing all Future Shop locations. This is the lat flyer we will see from them. Photo credits Sheri Landry (thisbirdsday.com)

Future Shop’s last flyer. Best Buy announced on Saturday that they were closing their Future Shop doors effective immediately.

Sony announced in January that they are closing all 14 of their locations by March, laying off 90 people.

Mexx has already closed its operations in Canada and liquidated everything. They owe their creditors just short of $115 million dollars.

Jacob abandoned their restructuring efforts and closed all of their 92 locations in 2014.

Smart Set is next up on the chopping block. Reitmans is closing 31 of the Smart Sets locations and renaming the remaining 76 of their locations over the course of this year.

Holt Renfrew is also closing their stores in Quebec City and Ottawa to sink money into the restructuring efforts of their other locations.

Bombay, Bowring, and Benix (owned by the same company) filed for bankruptcy protection (they owe creditors about $86 million) in 2014. Between the three companies, a total of 110 stores will be closing.

Sears was kind to offer Target employees positions when they announced they were leaving Canada, but how can you help these people when you, yourself are bleeding out? Sears announced a lay off 2,200 positions in January 2014. This even after laying off thousands in 2013.

[Tweet “Do you know how many retailers are closing doors in Canada this year? It’s more than you think…”]

This is where many are thinking that we need to shop somewhere so retail can’t completely disappear.

You would be wrong.

The answer is yes, it can, and it is.

Right now it is disappearing before our eyes and we are just entering retail’s dark days.

With online mega-stores like Amazon improving their selection,  backing up their product with easy return policies, and offering great deals on shipping, many of us can shop late at night while binge-watching Netflix as our children sleep.

Oil prices are down, the economy is weak, customer confidence is low. These are all some reasons for the departure of so many of our chains, but the big one in my opinion is the internet. Our retail stores are finally passing the point of no return and are falling, one by one to online spending.

There isn’t anything you can’t buy online anymore. No Canadian brick and mortar store is safe from what is coming here.

As the BI (before internet) consumers leave the buying stages in their lives, purchase values are shifting. Gone are the days where we visit a store, try on clothes, and touch the items we want to buy. In its place is a quick online search for what we want to purchase followed by ten top retailers, and a list of consumer reviews to describe the product and answer the questions we might have.

So back to my opening sentence. I really do fear for our future. The future that our kids will step into. It is going to be grossly different than what it is today and I hope we can adjust as individuals and as a country, together.

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
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10 comments… add one
  • Lindsay Dianne Mar 31, 2015, 12:06 pm

    I get what you’re saying, but I don’t know that we have to “fear” for our future and for our children. I just think this is a time of restructuring. On fact, it may be a good thing to challenge shopping as a destination. Here we have a generation of people living beyond our means, struggling to keep up with the Jones’s. It’s possible that a shift to online-only marketing could change the face of impulse buying.
    It’s also possible that I’m just engaging in really really wishful thinking.
    Either way, it is a bit shocking to see all these companies going under, but with our dollar in the state that it is, I suppose this could have probably been predicted.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 31, 2015, 9:35 pm

      I think what I fear is the initial job loss and what that means for our current retail employees. They will be the ones impacted the most and the unemployment rate could sky-rocket until different career paths are chosen and further education is accessed. My children are both young, so preparing for the coming restructuring is a luxury for us where others may be hit with quite an awakening.

      It is definitely going to be interesting to see if impulse buying goes down or up though. I hadn’t thought about that before. Thanks for commenting Lindsay.

  • Nancy Schmeler Mar 31, 2015, 7:37 am

    you are bang on! I have been saying for 2 years that in 10 yrs there will be 5-6 big retailers left in Canada! Scary but true! My colleagues hate it when I utter these words!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 31, 2015, 9:36 pm

      I almost hated uttering those words Nancy ;) – these really are changing times. Thanks for the comment.

  • Caryn s Mar 31, 2015, 6:00 am

    It really is terrifying just thinking about all the stores closing and lost jobs that are happening!

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 31, 2015, 9:39 pm

      I agree Caryn. I was talking to one of the employees at Target last week and she was saying that jobs are a little scarce right now.

  • Merry120 Mar 30, 2015, 10:13 pm

    This is sad. I just don’t understand how all these stores are failing. I know in the US people are buying online more but I find that hard to do here in Canada b/c of the ridiculous shipping costs. It will be interesting to see what the future will bring.

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 30, 2015, 10:17 pm

      I agree Merry. Some stores I could see coming. Others really shocked me. I find that some shipping costs are starting to come down and I’m worried for everyone who relies on retail as their income. It will be interesting to see where this path takes us. I just hope it doesn’t leave too many behind.

  • Angie In My 30s Mar 30, 2015, 5:04 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly … DH and I discuss this all the time. It’s scary how many stores are flopping one after another. I am most saddened by Target as it quickly became my go-to place for a little bit of everything.
    I just can’t believe HOW MANY malls in this area of the GTA are upgrading to become super swanky with all of this going on. Soon we will be forced to shop online … so aren’t they just throwing away millions of dollars and adding to a larger overall problem?

    • Sheri Landry Sheri Landry Mar 30, 2015, 5:14 pm

      I think the same thing when I walk around West Edmonton Mall. I wonder how many stores are now willing to risk coming to Canada in this market, and how many will still be standing this time next year.

      I like shopping at the mall, but I definitely don’t do it as much as I once did. Now it is more ‘me-time’ to get away from the kids and look around on my own for a couple of hours. It is scary to think of what is to come, but I will face it with an open mind.

      I really feel for all of the lost jobs though. I can’t stop thinking about the people caught in all of this.

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