Lowe's expansion in Canada helped by Target's absence

Last week Lowe's reported its eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit same-store sales in Canada. The hardware chain's growth is due in large part to successfully implementing ideas from Canadian consumers, something that Target (NYSE:TGT) failed to do north of the United States.

Sylvain Prud'homme, president of Lowe's Canada, said the success can be attributed to lessons learned from its customers and the subsequent changes that were made to its assortment.

"We have spent time with Canadian customers and learned about their expectations," Prud'homme told the Financial Post. "When you have a retail segment where there are a lot of competitors out there, customers expect more value. So we have spent a lot of time talking to customers one-on-one at the store level, and talking to our [employees] in the store, and I receive feedback every single day."

Listening may have been one of the downfalls of Target in Canada. The retailer never recovered from its initial blunders when entering the country and perhaps tried to expand too quickly.

Earlier this month Lowe's announced plans to acquire 13 former Target Canada locations, putting the retailer closer to expectations it had 10 years ago when it first entered the country. Lowe's will double its current store count over the next three years.

When Target first announced it would enter Canada in 2011, pressure was put on Lowe's to find good retail locations. In retrospect, the forced delay of its physical expansion turned out to help the retailer.

For more:
-See this Financial Post article

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