TORONTO Oct 29 U.S. discount retail chain
Target Corp said on Wednesday it expects to recover from
initial stumbles in its ambitious push into Canada and still hit
long-term growth targets.
Canada is still key to Target's growth over the next five
years, executives said. While the company's near-term outlook
remained cautious, Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan said
the retailer was expecting three to four percent total annual
sales growth through 2017.
It was also maintaining its long-term, 2017 earnings per
share target of $8.00 and dividends per share of $3.00.
Target, which will have 124 Canadian stores by the end of
its grand opening year, said a shortfall in sales was the
biggest issue in Canada. That shortfall, combined with
additional investments to improve operations in Canada, is
putting near-term pressure on earnings.
Executives, speaking at a special meeting with analysts in
Toronto, said it was investing in technology and other tools to
help improve stocking and supply chains, a key complaint among
Canadian shoppers, as well as changing customer perception on
"2013 has been a year of milestones, learnings and
challenges for the Target Canada team," said Tony Fisher,
president of Target Canada.
"And while sales are below our initial expectations, our
progress to date gives me a tremendous amount of confidence in
our ability to meet our long-term goal of $6 billion in annual
sales by 2017."
Fisher said Target was not satisfied with initial results,
and that it was determined to have a strong holiday performance
in the fourth quarter.
Target, which is planning to open some 25 more Canadian
stores by 2017, noted that some U.S. border stores have been
impacted from the Canadian store openings.