Cool designer-ish Canadians loved Target. We'd go to the US to shop at their stores there and bring home cheap and cheerful loot. Target decides to break outside of the US for the first time and come to Canada. They spend a lot of time planning it and carefully pick the neighbourhoods they want to be in. The stores open. Yay.
Cut to the reveal, and it's a flop. Journalists are all over the story as bloggers blame the retailer for higher prices and less selection. It's like this has never happened before. It has, and it'll keep happening over and over again. Each brand has enough ego to believe they are different and know what they're doing this time.
I suspect that something more subtle than distribution or demographic issues are at play. Import taxes don't help but that's not really it. We'll pay more for things we think are worth it. When we were travelling to the US to shop at Target and J. Crew, it did cost more with the travel and everything. You see, the thing is, once you brought your shiny stores here, they just weren't so special anymore. You took something that just some of us did and felt like insiders for doing, and made it all pedestrian and everyday. So now it's not so cool for us anymore and everyone else doesn't care.
Brenda van Ginkel
Every great brand that's making a difference to people or the planet deserves to stand out and be noticed. I write about creative direction and brand strategy for entrepreneurs and those supporting them, packaging concepts with messaging for growth and audience engagement in a crowded, noisy digital space.