Target's Toronto Pop-Up is a harbinger to future success.
Target launched a small pop-up store in Toronto today featuring a portion of the Canadian-born Jason-Wu line. The store had long lines and moved most of its product. And garnered tremendous national media coverage (so call this a "win" for buzz building).
Target is well-known to Canadians and many have shopped the stores on trips to the US. Canada is a middle-class country with consumers who appreciate value. It is also under-competed, particularly amongst mid-market department stores. There is a great opportunity here for Target Canada as it rolls out full stores in 2013. It will impact all retail below the luxury level, forcing grocery, department stores and specialty retailers to innovate, become more efficient, to differentiate.
Most importantly, incumbents need to determine if there are competing on price (which is impossible without scale), unique product (or breadth), or customer experience. In the latter positioning, a precursor is deep understanding of customer segmentsmost. It is here most Canadian retail must improve.