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Canadian Push 5-23-14

The Big Looming Question When Target Opened All Those Stores
'What's with all the empty shelves?'... A Computer Glitch & A 3PL
"One of the Greatest Supply Chain Disasters in Canadian History"

Only a year ago, Target was touting its first store openings in Canada. Then Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel told investors he was pleased with how his workers and systems were handling the launch. But things were already going awry, said the sources, who worked at two of Target's three distribution hubs and spoke on condition of anonymity. Goods were coming into the warehouses faster than they were going out, in part because the barcodes on many items did not match what was in the computer system. As shipments stacked up, Target flew in dozens of red-shirted staff from the United States to shore up the operation, the sources said. Target, which is due to report its quarterly financial results on Wednesday, has said little about what went wrong with its Canadian supply chain. But on Tuesday it fired Tony Fisher, the president of its operation there, and replaced him with Mark Schindele, a veteran U.S. executive with deep experience in managing supply chains. Target's launch into Canada, its first international venture, was code-named Project Bacon, an apparently playful reference to Canadian bacon sold in U.S. supermarkets. Instead of a slow province-by-province rollout, the retailer clinched a big real estate deal, locking itself into a rapid, coast-to-coast launch that later magnified supply chain problems. The company said in February it had "dramatically reduced" congestion in the supply chain but did not give details. Asked to comment on the sources' depiction of overflowing warehouses, Target said it did not discuss vendor relationships. Target does much of its own distribution in the United States, but it hired Eleven Points Logistics, a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based Genco, to run its three warehouses in Canada. As goods arrived at the warehouses, workers found errors, 12 shirts per box when the computer system expected 24, for example, the two former Eleven Points employees said. It is not clear whether these errors were caused by Target's buyers entering bad data, vendors making mistakes, some glitch in Eleven Points' warehouse computer system or all three. The inconsistencies between goods and computer records caused a chain reaction of delays. Problem shipments needed to be unpacked and cataloged, a time-consuming process. They piled up instead of going out to stores, taking over large parts of the massive warehouses, on a scale the sources said they had never seen at previous jobs. Finding the source of this type of error can require a long and complex audit, said Marc Wulfraat, president of logistics consulting firm MWPVL International, who has analyzed and written about Target's supply chain. "The Target Canada story will go down in the history books as one of the great supply chain disasters of Canadian history," he said, pointing to the Canadian operation's $941 million loss before interest and taxes last year. (Source

November is the new Black Friday in Canada - fundamentally altering the look & feel of shopping in Canada - Canadian retailers are fighting back  November is the new black — Black Friday that is — compared to December when it comes to retail sales growth in Canada, a new report says. Over the last couple years, Canadian retailers have been offering more and more late November discounts in an effort to reduce the flow of Canadians’ spending money south of the border on Black Friday sales that traditionally kick off the U.S. holiday spending season. While many Canadians are still attracted to the Black Friday spectacle, similar discounting at Canadian retailers has proven extremely popular lately, the report note. November now accounts for 8.7 per cent of full-year retail sales in Canada, compared to less than 8.2 per cent a decade ago, Colliers found. “Shoppers are driving this boat. Retail sales are just being made earlier, and the shift is $20 to $25 billion from December into November across Canada. (Source

Knockoffs from China sting small Canadian shop
In Canada, the retail value of copycat product seizures in 2012 reached $38.1-million, up from $7.7-million in 2005, according to the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, a coalition that fights counterfeiting, fraud and copyright piracy. (Source

Sears Canada selling 15% stake in Quebec shopping centre for $33.5M

Tim Hortons Launches Mobile Payments

Canadians pay 30% more for gas than Americans - another example of higher prices in Canada

Petcetera to close all 18 stores

RCMP in Edmonton seeking suspect in violent robbery 

Niagara Regional Police investigating an Armed Robbery at a Dollar Value Store in Niagara Falls, CN 

Canadian Push 5-23-14
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