If We Were Having Coffee – Jan.25/2015 Guest Post: Missed the Target

Missed the Target

Willow and Friends at Tea (The Tea Party by Frederic Soulacroix)
Paul your Barista
Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here once again. Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Willow has plumped the cushions and started a cozy fire so we can warm ourselves while we have a cuppa and chat. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of  whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Hi, willow  here,  please  forgive  my  intrusion   but I somehow  lost Paul’s  guest  post  somewhere  in the ether   so  it is all my  fault  he  is late  here  . Please  all of  you and  especially  Paul  forgive  me!! 

It’s been cold and dark and damp here all week. We haven’t gotten any more snow but there is no doubt that it is the depths of winter. There hasn’t been much exciting in my week, just the same routine. Which can be interpreted as good.

From a business perspective, though it has been an interesting week in Canada. The big news has been the failure and subsequent $7 billion bankruptcy of Target stores Canada announced a week ago Friday after less than 2 years of operating in Canada.


Would you like another cuppa and a sweet? Before your eyes cross with boredom – I promise that I’ll keep it interesting by looking at it from a shopper’s perspective and from a human perspective. Target is a competitor of Wal-Mart in the US. Wal-Mart does about $100 billion sales per year in the US and Target does a respectable $60 billion. Canada was Target’s first foray outside the US and they made quite a few serious mistakes that turned off customers so they stayed away in droves. Target bought out a Canadian chain that was failing in order to get the properties for development – properties that were in older malls and locations. They opened 133 stores right across Canada within a year and a half, employing over 17,000 people. And then they failed to have competitive prices and they had serious supply chain issues that left their shelves often empty. After losing over $2 billion in operations alone, they gave up and decided to slink back to the US to lick their wounds and give their stockholders the bill for the total $7 billion dollars they burnt through in less than 2 years – no doubt the largest retail failure for a company starting business in Canada.

Before Target arrived here, the Canadian retail market was basically shivering with worry that Target would come into an already well served market and take business from current retailers. To address that threat retailers prepared by increasing their efficiencies,holding prices steady, and trying to make customers happier by improving current prices and services. We, the customers, were quite happy with that and looked forward to Target’s arrival to provide even more competition. In the preventative category, the properties that Target was looking to buy changed hands a few times just to keep them out of Target’s hands. Eventually that proved to be a losing strategy and Target bought the leases and properties they needed.

Empty shelves

So, on one hand, we were all interested to see Target reduce prices and yet we were all a bit scared about what they would do to the retailers and jobs that were already here. On Target’s part, they were certain – $7 billion worth of certain – that they could move into Canada and compete here to their profitability. And we believed them – the only question as how profitable, not whether profitable. Many of the Canadians who had been hired as the management of Target later said that Target was very arrogant and refused to listen to any of the input and suggestions of the very people that they had hired to run the company. Target simply ignored the reality of retailing here, and just transplanted their American operations into this market. They ignored the long distances between stores, the lower population, the longer supply lines, the competitiveness, the Canadian culture and, most of all, the sophistication and desires of Canadian shoppers. Target didn’t even bother to set up an online sales presence- a service that Canadians use a lot as one of the most wired countries in the world with long empty distances between markets. .

So, we stood in awe and fear as we watched an American giant march across our border and set up shop, determined to woe us with their operation and cleverness. And we peeked at what they had to offer and decided it wasn’t as good as what was already here, and we left. Not long after we watched with mixed feelings as the giant announced a massive failure, closed up shop and marched back from whence they came. On one hand it was sad to see the 17,000 jobs disappear, on the other hand it felt good that we had a marketplace that could withstand such an assault and walk away unscathed. It meant that we really were being well served by our marketplace and less of our hard earned money would now be siphoned south of the border. All in all an interesting story in Canadian retailing and a tale that will keep Business School students busy with case studies and assignments for years to come.


That’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and watch the fire. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for tea again next week.

Afternoon Tea at The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny, Wales
And of course  the


over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s


Just Jot It January: If We Were Having Coffee. Chit Chat.


Hello  and  welcome  come in it is lovely  to see you all here again. The fires are lit  the cushions are plumped up and  we have  the coffee and tea on  the go  and the cakes and sweets are all set out.  We  have  tea  and coffee  from all over  the world not to mention all our cakes  and muffins  and  as Paul  calls  them sweets! Every single  one  is  calorie  free! Plus of course  we now have spirits  and liquors  to warm the coldest of  you.

If we were having  Coffee: I would ask  you what  has been going on in your world this week, has  anything  deeply affected  you, have  you need a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry  on or  just  needed someone  to make  you laugh! If  yes  feel free to talk it out  here  with us. We will all help if  we can.

Join in !

If we were having Coffee: I would  remind  you  that  there  are lots of  other  coffee mornings  all shared  and organized  By  Diana  and  Gene’O  over at, Part time monster   and it is growing like Topsie!This  week Diana  was talking  about  Circus, animals  and  clowns  all of  which  leave  me  cold  especially  clowns. I have always  found  them  very  frightening  and I really  don’t  know  why. Do  you have any unexplained  fears.

If we were having  Coffee:  Well  what  have  you  been up  to this  week have  you been happy  sad ,  mad  bad  or just plain busy! Or  have  you been  through  the whole  gambit of  these  emotions ? I have to admit  I have,   life  seems  to be a real roller coaster  at  the moment.

The  husband is  still unwell  and is  plagued  with  pains  in his  side  and  back. He is  due to have two  ultra sound  scans  this  coming  Friday, they  will be  checking  his liver, kidneys  and lower  abdomen. He is  supposed  to be resting  but  like  many a man  when there is  something  to  be careful  of  the  shutters  come down! Instead  of  resting  as he  has been advised  he  is decorating! Yes  I did say  decorating ! I  admit  he  is going  very  slow  and steadily  for  him  and  after  a couple of  hours  he has to stop  and rest. I can see  he is in  pain  and he  has  even given in  and taken  some  pain killers .  I am bcoming  a nag   and I think  he is  fed up of  me telling  him  to take  it easy  but it is only  because I care. ….. HUMMM! Men  if  they  have a cold  they  are at  death’s  door …. anything  bigger  or scarier  and  they  become  all macho!  Bless  him. What  are  your  orther  halves like , male or female?

If we were having  Coffee: I would  offer  you  another coffee or  tea   and  ask if  I could  tempt  you  to a cake  or  sweet!

Go on, you know you want to!

It  has  been  a busy week  I have  been to  the gym  most  days.  It  is   better now I have  a friend  to meet  at  the gym  she is a similar  age to me  and  we have lots in comon . We meet  up  early  morning  Monday  through to Wednesday  and exercise , on the Wednesday  we have a lesson  with our  trainer  and  he makes us work really  hard  which is good. Friday  I have Pilates, Saturday  I have core  class and blissfully  I have Thursday  and Sunday off! Now  I am not obcessed with the gym  I just  get  so  stiff  and so much  pain  if  I do  not  exercise, in fact I was told  after  my  last operation  that  if  I did not exercise  and keep  myself  fit  my  back  could  just let  me down  and I could  end up in a wheel chair… No  thank  you !

If we were having  Coffee: I would tell you  that  my  friend  and I  went into  our  nearest  town  for a girly day, we had  coffee  and cake (naughty  but  oh! so  nice)  then we both  bought  some  clothes in the sale …. we  did not  have any intentions  of  doing  so  but  these skirts  just  grabbed us as we went past ! Well it would of  been rude  not  to to buy them!

It  has  been a funny  week  with something  happening  every  day, plus  trying to  keep an eye on the hubby  it has  been a real  rush!  But  I suppose  I could  say  I was not bored!

If we were having  Coffee: I would  ask what  do  you think  of  the world  news, I have to admit  I have not taken  a lot  of  interest  lately   as it  all seems  so  depressing   and right  now  I do nt not  want  to think  of  all the sad and  bad  things  going on in the world. Mind  you it  is good  to hear  that Scottish  Nurse  Pauline  Cafferkey has recovered  from Ebola  after  becoming  ill  after  returning  here  from West Africa  Read  about it here.  She  was taken ill on her  return to Heathrow … I can’t  help  wandering  if when health workers decide  to go off to West  Africa   to  deal  with Ebola, and  all good credit  it to them, I think  they should  agree  to  have a three week quarentine  before  they return . Maybe  that way  there would  be less chance of  the fearful Ebola  crossing continents.

Other  news  not  so  good  there  has  been another Isis execution  this  time of  a Japanese hostage   Harman Yukawa and they are holding  another  man  a reporter  Kenji Goto. More info here.

If we were having  Coffee: I ‘d  tell  you  that  the Newbie  vsited  yesterday  and it  was so  lovely  to see him and his  dad! (my  youngest son) We were so lucky  yesterday  we got to see all three of  our  sons  and  our grandson, unfortunately  our  middle son had  to leave  before  the newbie  and his dad  arrived   but  at least  we saw  them all. … for those  who know  there  has been a slight  melt   but  still no  sign  of a  thaw.

Time to relax


If we were having  Coffee:  would like to remind  you  about

A Thousand Voices Speak For Compassion

I heard about it first  on TanGental’s page here   and also on Gene’Os page  here . The idea  is to get 1000 bloggers on the same day to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement etc.? (Date to be decided.(it’s suggested 20th February 2015) We could call it 1000 Voices For Compassion.Who’s in? I really  would  like to be  but I need to think really  hard  about  what  to write about  but I am  going to think about it  and I am going to take part … If  anyone  has any  suggestions I would  be very grateful to hear them!

And of course  the


over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

This post is part of Just Jot It January hosted by Linda G Hill.

Thanks for tuning in and if you want to join, feel free to click on the link and start jotting!

All that is left  for  me to say  is  stay  here  and be warm  and comfy  and  relax  and enjoy  the compay . Paul  has  been a little delayed  but he will be here asap!  So  until  next week   be  safe  and  well and don’t  forget to check out ‘The  if  we were having  Coffee, weekend share’over at   Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s.





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