By Issey Abraha
About 20,000 Canadians in the retail sector will be looking for new jobs in the coming months.
Target announced it would be closing stores earlier than expected in mid-April, while 66 Future Shop stores were closed effective immediately on Saturday.
“It’s devastating when any large chain closes for students and mature workers,” said Christine Colosimo, a Career Advisor at Humber College.
“It makes me angry, all those poor people that had such hope to be employed by Target,” she said.
“It’s devastating when any large chain closes for students and mature workers.” – Colosimo
Target said it would make contributions of up to $70 million for employees and provide a 16-week compensation package although the closures are being accelerated.
Target says it is closing all 133 stores because it wasn’t expected to be profitable in the near future.
“It was an uphill battle the whole time we were here, they had high expectations that they would meet sales but they never settled down where they were meeting sale goals or even the lower goal they set this year,” said Usman Barack, a supply flow team member at Target.
“[Target] brought in a 10 year old system that was successful in America once upon a time that they don’t even use that system anymore.” – Barack.
“Target underestimated the Canadian shoppers,” he said. “For one they brought in a 10 year old system that was successful in America once upon a time that they don’t even use that system anymore,” he said.
In addition to closing 66 stores this weekend, 65 Future Shop stores, will be converted to Best Buy, the company that bought Future Shop in 2001.
“It was hard losing my job at Hallmark due to similar issues, so I can relate to what the employees of Future Shop and Target are going through,” said Vanessa Panacci, a former Hallmark employee.
Statistics Canada says the turnover rate is quite high in the retail industry. The Canadian jobless rate is relatively low at 4.7 per cent