I was really surprised this week to discover that Target is shutting down all their Canadian stores. Granted, the one I go to was rarely busy but it was also located in an out of the way mall. (I go there specifically because it's not busy.)
Target made some mistakes. They clearly overextended themselves and had supply problems. They didn't have the bargain basement prices of the US chain.
But I'm going to miss them.
The biggest reason is the shopping experience. They didn't have ambient music in the store. Which meant that I could take Alex without him getting overwhelmed by the noise. Unlike a store whose name rhymes with Stall-Mart, the Target store wasn't crammed with merchandise like passengers in a discount airline, there was enough room to maneuver without bumping into people or knocking down displays. And they had a much better selection of boys' clothes in my kids' age ranges.
The merchandise was a little more expensive than Wal-Mart but I found it was of much higher quality. Example: I bought a package of socks at Wal-Mart and most of them developed holes the first day I wore them. I got a similarly priced package at Target and they lasted several months. I don't mind paying more if I know it's not going to fall apart at the first opportunity.
I'll be honest and say I've always hated shopping at Wal-Mart. It's crowded even when the store is deserted, the staff are overly aggressive in pushing deals and other programs and from the stories I've heard from those who have worked there, they don't treat their employees particularly well. I've always tried to go with the alternatives when possible.
Now it looks like Wal-Mart will be the only option for basic clothes and such. Which isn't going to encourage them to improve anything.