Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Few subjects in Report on Business stir emotion quite like retailing.

Readers are familiar with stores – especially biggies such as "Wally World" and "Crappy Tire." They spend their hard-earned money there, and feel that they should have a forum to vent their frustrations with products or service. They also get excited about stores they love. When Target arrived in Canada last March, for instance, it sparked major media hype as well as a frenzy of shopper demand.

But this week, The Globe and Mail revealed a poll by Forum Research showing that the retailer has not lived up to expectations. It scored lowest in customer satisfaction among a list of major rivals. And our readers – hundreds of them – expressed similar disappointment to the shoppers who had been surveyed.

Story continues below advertisement

Some had strong views about the chain even if they had never been in a Target. But many felt let down by their own shopping experiences – by bare shelves, or by prices sometimes higher than in the United States.

Some readers even commented about an unpleasant scent in the store they had visited. "Fix that funky smell!" one reader declared in capital letters. Another called the odour "brutal to the point of being nauseating."

Readers were also unsympathic to any difficulties that a brand-new business might encounter. While the story suggested that Target may be able to iron out wrinkles in its operations, one reader wrote: "Huh?? Here is some free advice about how to 'iron out the wrinkles.' Put the same selection and price in Canadian stores. Not very complicated at all."

Another reader offered a bottom line: "Their competitors offer far more for far less. I won't be going back to Target any time soon."

Still, the chain has many admirers. "First of all I am tired of the Target bashing in Canada," one said. "I love my Bullseye and, yes, I know there are growing pains. It's a great store to shop at."

Another group of readers defended the price points at Target, saying consumers should have anticipated disparities between Canada and the United States.

The split in reader response to Target's customer-satisfaction rating underlines the difficulties that even the savviest U.S. retailers can have in meeting the needs of Canadian consumers. Two days after The Globe published its piece on consumer feedback in Canada, Target disclosed softer-than-expected quarterly financial results.

Story continues below advertisement

Target is still learning the ropes here, and tweaking its strategies. But many of our readers are getting impatient.

Marina Strauss is The Globe's retail reporter.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies