Friday, January 14, 2011
I am sure every Canadian shopper now knows about Target buying Zellers with plans to open 100 Targets across Canada by 2013.
I said it.
On the surface this sounds very exciting! No more cross border trips to get the items we want but are denied...for 50-70% off, no less! Right?! Right?!????
Walmart is in Canada too....and they didn't bring with them all those things we see advertised but cant buy here. Nor did they bring the US prices with them. Let's not even get into the difference in customer service. You know that bi*chy women who works in the Tim's drive-thru? Yeah, she will be applying for a job at Target. And no doubt the same level of misery we see at Walmart will install itself at Target in Canada soon enough. Just about every cross border shopper I know says the same thing...they go to the US because of the customer service as well as selection and prices so it isnt just me - many are fed up with how we are treated in stores on this side of the 49th parallel.
So while I would love to be jumping up and down squealing with the rest of you, I am just too realistic and jaded to take part. Dont get me wrong...I love Target! I have written more than one post about my shopping trips and what I love to buy there that we cant get here, but, I have seen this before and know how it will go.
For my American friends who are wondering what the big deal is...the Canadian dollar has been hovering around parity with the US dollar for a few years now. This would mean something that costs 1.00 in the US should cost 1.00 here but it doesnt. We are still paying a lot more for the exact same things because the Canadian government puts so many taxes and tariffs on items coming into the country. A great example is books, if you look at the back of any book you will see the US and Canadian prices - very few stores in Canada will honour the US price. When I was pregnant and shopping for baby gear I priced the items I wanted on the Target website and realised everything was double the price here but our dollar was at par. So I got in my car and bought it all in the US. At Target. Where a store employee took my list, gathered everything I was looking for, helped me to the cash desk and out to my car. That kind of customer service is unheard of here.
Living in Canada is great - we are usually unarmed, get free health care, have low unemployment and managed to avoid the latest financial crisis for which we owe Stephen Harper a 'thank you' at the very least but along with all of that comes a certain apathy about service. My goodness if one more shop clerk whines to me about consumerism I think I will lose it!
I may be one of the few Canadians who really loves Americans. Gosh y'all know how to throw a party and have a sale! You smile and have manners and call me ma'am even though I dont think I qualify yet for ma'am. You take pride in your work...even the Target cashiers make customers feel valued - I am afraid we wont get that kind of feeling from our Canadian Target cashiers.
So, is it exciting to think Target will be coming here? Yes. I am sure the stores will be cleaner, brighter and bigger. But that's about it.
Have a fabulous day!