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 (

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 (

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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