Aren’t Canadians so nice?
Right after Target pulls out of Canada, Sears Canada swoops in with an announcement to Target’s employees. Sears is welcoming soon to be laid-off Target employees to apply for a job at Sears and they’ll even throw in a discount at the store to any Target employee wishing to make a purchase. Any little bit helps.
Last week, Target told their employees they’d be packing up what’s left on their bare shelves and leaving. They are closing the 133 stores in Canada after their Canadian expansion was not profitable. They plan to be completely gone by May of this year. This exit will have a huge impact, affecting 17,600 workers. The company is hoping to get approval on a severance package that will allow most Target employees 16 weeks’ pay.
Sears Canada explains the reasoning behind their offer in a statement, “In recognition of the challenging retail landscape and yesterday’s announcement regarding the exit of Target from the Canadian market, Sears Canada wishes to do something meaningful to help employees affected by store closings and job losses and to do so in a respectful manner.”
Sears CEO criticizes Target’s strategy
Sears is offering Target employees the same 25% store discount they offer to their own employees for a period of 16 weeks. They will also be hosting career fairs to lure Target employees to apply for jobs within their company and hosting meet and greets with Sears executives for head-office Target employees.
In a news interview, Sears Canada’s CEO, Ronald Boire, spoke out about Target saying, “You can’t just cookie cutter a strategy into the market and have it play out the way you want.” Bold words from a company that has also been struggling up north for years now and their own employees going through a few rounds of layoffs in 2014.
Post-holiday retail is always a slower time of year and when you pair that with Canada’s struggling retail sector, Target employees are most likely going to be facing an uphill battle to secure a new job after the lay-offs. While this offer from Sears Canada is probably good news to some worried Target employees, it’s an interesting move for them to come out criticizing Target for their failed approach in Canada, since Sears has laid off thousands of employees themselves in Canada.