It appears that Target is having a good now, possibly bad later, problem at its Canadian stores.
According to Toronto-based Globe & Mail, customers are finding empty shelves at the three stores Target opened earlier this month in Ontario.
“We definitely were slammed,” John Morioka, senior vice-president of merchandising at Target Canada, told the newspaper. “We thought there would be an initial bump. The bump has not leveled off to the degree that we thought.”
Among the items in short supply? Milk.
Hmmm. Point of Sale has a hard time picturing hoards of shoppers breaking through the front doors to grab as much Target milk as they can.
Seriously, though, you’d think consumers would initially flock to Target for clothes, home goods, and accessories. The run on milk suggests that Target could be a formidable competitor to not only Canadian Tire and Hudson’s Bay but also supermarkets and major food retailers like Loblaw and Wal-Mart.
Target will open 17 more stores today so that should alleviate the shortages. But given the large and dispersed nature of Canada, the country presents a host of potential logistical and inventory problems to Target.
Perhaps mindful of this, Target recently decided to own three Canadian distribution centers they built in 2012 rather than lease it. The company will also add 15,000 square feet to 40 planned store locations by leasing adjacent space.
Target certainly knows the pitfalls of success. Yes, a retailer would kill to have customers clamor for its merchandise. But too much demand and not enough supply equals unhappy shoppers who are only too willing to vent their frustrations over social media.
Now if you excuse this blogger, he suddenly has a craving for half and half.