Off Target

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Target, the source of retail bliss that drives Canadians to shop south of the border in droves, is coming to Canada in 2013. They bought up a number of old, shabby Zellers’ leaseholds from parent company HBC and will refurb the locations they purchased with new fittings, new products and new staff. It’s important to note they bought the leases, not the brand. They did not buy leftover Zeller stock, they did not buy their customer lists, they did not buy their POS or back office systems. Just the locations. Full stop.

When approached by the Toronto Star regarding Zellers’ staff, some with 15+ years experience, who are losing their jobs, Target said the right thing, noting the above. Indeed, Target isn’t responsible for the unfortunate folks who are losing their jobs because Zellers is toast, HBC is. So just leave it at that.

Instead, the presumably media trained communicator who wrote Target’s statement went further, noting: “when compared to Target’s guests in the U.S., Zellers attracts a different customer base, older and more likely to be ‘empty nesters.’ Zellers customers are also likely to spend significantly less per visit than a Target guest.”

Now why did you have to go and say that?

So, what Target is saying is Zellers shoppers are old, broke and square. What we should also infer from this is that an existing Zellers’ staffer wouldn’t be cool enough to work at Target.

I believe honesty is always the best policy, but for humanity’s sake, know when to stop. Target’s argument, without the insult, is solid. Sure it would be nice for them to extend an olive branch to qualified Zellers’ staff but they don’t have to. But they didn’t have add salt to the wound by insulting them too… that’s just tacky.

So unlike the Target brand, so I’ve heard…