There are at least 17,000 Target employees in Canada who won’t be living the First Class Life any time soon thanks to being laid off at the 130 Target stores across the country, but former CEO Gregg Steinhafel will be laughing all the way to the bank.
For those unfamiliar, Canada is home to 35 million slightly frozen citizens. It is an exciting and emerging market that many American corporations have their eyes on closely, especially after the 2008 Financial Crisis that Canada managed to shelter itself from just fine. However, it’s not always a success story north of the border, many American companies fail to hit their mark. Partly because Canadians are a rare and interesting species that survives on roughly 3 tablespoons of maple syrup per day, and partly because corporations fail to do their market research before opening for business. Evidently that previous line could well have been taken from Target’s confidential in-house memos on the Canadian consumer. This is precisely what happened when Target decided to put on their parkas and head north.
Consumers quickly realized the products were priced significantly higher than expected as Target assumed Canadians would pay more to avoid Wal-Mart, a serious miscalculation because after-all, how many People of Wal-Mart submissions actually come from Canada? As well as the inflated prices, the selection was thinner than Burger King’s healthy menu items, and that’s if there were even any products on the shelves to begin with, thanks to horrible mismanagement of the entire supply chain. Due to those empty shelves and prices higher than the Wal-Mart down the street, Canadians avoided Target like a herd of charging moose.
In the end, business failed miserably and Target lost more money than Saudi Arabia’s monthly allowance for fancy napkins, around $5 billion dollars in all. Now all of the stores are beginning to liquidate stock, and all 17,000 employees are out of work. However with any failed business, those employees laid off are owed some form of severance pay for their loss of work and presumed emotional distress. After a little bit of complicated math, each employee is being paid approximately $3100, representing 16 weeks of glorious minimum wage earnings for their hardships.
Now this wouldn’t be a story without some controversy, so here is where former Target CEO, Gregg Steinhafel enters the arena. He stepped down after not only bungling Target’s $7 billion expansion to Canada, but he also failed to protect his company from a massive data breach in which hackers stole the personal information of up to 110 million customers. Because of his massive failure he is being rewarded with $61 million. Yes, that is $5 million more than every single Canadian Target employee let go, combined. Just that alone could have him living a pampered first class lifestyle for quite some time, and I have a feeling none of those terminated employees will have any idea of what that means for the foreseeable future.
Does this questionable move by Target change your thoughts on the company? Let us know what you would do with being handed $61 million and told to ride quietly off into the retirement sunset!