The Other Side of Target Canada’s Liquidation

Like many others, I watched with interest as Target Canada began their first day of liquidation sales. The tweets and Facebook statuses began to flow followed by news coverage this evening that left me feeling uneasy.

The other side to Target Canada's Liquidation. Consider this before going (or not going) to the store.
Many were upset that the deals in the store weren’t absolutely rock bottom. Yes, an internal memo was released telling their staff that Thursday will be like Black Friday, but that was all that was said. There was no indication in those same memos that the prices would also resemble absolute, rock-bottom, is-that-the-best-you-can-do? prices. The memo was correct, traffic was out the door, just like Black Friday, and their estimate of doubling their daily sales was probably correct.

Here are a couple of things to consider before heading in to the stores or waiting until everything is 95% off to buy.

The Liquidation Discounts

The first thing here to note is that Target is no longer in charge of the prices you see in the store. Our courts have appointed Alvarez & Marsal as the monitor. A monitor’s responsibilities include supervising the liquidation and wind-down process for Target Canada and they report back to the courts on the progress.

It is in their best interest to begin the liquidation slowly and start sales around the 10 – 30% off range. This is how all standard liquidations start. Remember Eaton’s, or Zellers? They cleared out the same way, we’ve just forgotten.

One big misconception now is that Target Canada is profiting from the liquidation. The reason for this liquidation is so that they can pay their creditors to the best of their ability.

Have you seen the creditor list? It is 44 pages long and includes local and international companies such as Baby Gourmet Foods Inc in Edmonton (owed $62,701), Old Dutch Foods in Winnipeg (owed $219,661), and Under the Roof Decorating Inc in Calgary (owed $225,553) to name a few. Check out the list, no province is left off the list, and trust me; this is not a list anyone wants to be on. They even owe Food Banks Canada ($276,920).

View the complete creditor list

Right now, these businesses are going to be making pennies on the dollars they are owed by Target Canada, if they are lucky. The higher the discounts, the less they will be offered in the end. These are Canadian businesses, employing our friends, family, children, and parents.

You may think that getting 95% off of that small appliance is a great deal, but is it still an awesome deal if it means that your wife / brother / child / etc gets laid off because their employer had to make some cuts later in the year to make up for lost revenue?

The Staff

17,600 Canadian employees are being laid off. These are our friends, family, kids, parents. These are people who have lost their jobs, and now need to go to work everyday, face their customers who all know they are the walking-unemployed, and work in a store that is being liquidated.

That has to be hard.

Top that off with stories I’ve been reading about staff abandoning ship and not showing up for work. The people you see in the store chose to go in. No one is forcing them. They have all made the choice to continue to provide customer service in the face of all of this.

I think that is amazing.

Please be considerate when you enter the stores. Your day is most likely not as bad as theirs right now.

Leave a comment below with your thoughts? I’d love to hear what you’ve been seeing/hearing.

Edited to add: Thank you to everyone visiting this post, I am trying to keep up with the comments. I always try to come from a place of kindness and understanding and I ask the same of you when leaving comments. This post is about our fellow Canadians and ALL of the creditors. Please be respectful when commenting as hurtful comments will not be posted and will be removed if found. You don’t have to agree with this post, I just ask that you read it, and offer an equally kind response.

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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