With all the chatter and debate about reducing carbon footprints, I’m wondering if it might be time to consider reducing our ‘retail’ footprint in Canada. The past 12 months has seen some spectacular retail failures, most notably the decision by the Target chain to pack up and head home. We may never see a more classic case of a foreign retailer doing such a horrible job of trying to read the minds of consumers in the Great White North. Was it not obvious that Target had nothing much to offer that wasn’t already open for business?
Perhaps they thought they could be another Ikea? That magic brand arrived in my hometown of Winnipeg just over three years ago, but it was something of a running gag for many years before that. Since the mid-1990’s, Blue Bomber fans had been saying “How can we possibly call ourselves a great city without an Ikea store?” Whatever it is, the magic must still be working because Ikea is adding stores all over the place, while Target is just a bad memory.
How about the home-improvement chain called Lowe’s? Winnipeg still doesn’t have one of their stores, but Regina, which doesn’t have Ikea, has had a Lowe’s for quite a while. Now it looks like Lowe’s is about to swallow up Rona, and should we care about that? It’s a move that seems to be purely driven by the Canadian Peso, better known as the Loonie.
I’m not into home improvement, and never having been a person who considered shopping to be recreation, I have trouble to relating to a lot of this. But I do like Ikea for those amazing 75-cent hotdogs. And I can’t help but wonder, will Rona still have that wonderful free popcorn when the sign on the building changes? We have to know that!
– ROGER CURRIE, MyToba.ca