Target (Almost) Apologizes to Canada

Target wants the nation of Canada to know that they’re “disappointed” in their own performance–and they’ll definitely do better next time.

Last year we reported that the retailer’s northern expansion had failed to convince the Canucks not to shop at Walmart, and this week the company attempted to hit the “reset” button with this clip:

The executive team leader says the problem was all about getting product on the shelves, but we’re not so sure; the primary factor behind the lackluster numbers seemed to be the fact that Walmart is still cheaper and more convenient when it comes to the basics.

Here’s the big one: the Target corporation lost more than one billion dollars in 2013 and fired its president of Canadian operations in May.

The employees in the video make lots of confessions about their “disappointments” and assure viewers that they’re “starting to see things work” and re-focusing on the very community initiatives that failed to convince the Canadian public last time. But no one says “I’m sorry.”

Even though no one uses the big “s” word, it’s still a bit bold for a massive corporation to admit its own failures so openly; the only recent parallel would be J.C. Penney and the #jcplistens campaign.

So will this rebrand be enough? Canadian PR veterans Elissa Freeman and Lauren Strapagiel call it believable, though it certainly looks like there’s more work to be done.

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