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Target Fires President of its Canadian Operations

Updated: 05/20/2014 8:20 AM
Created: 05/20/2014 7:24 AM KSTP.com

Target has fired the president of its troubled Canadian operations, Tony Fisher, and is replacing him with a 15-year U.S. company veteran.
    
The nation's third-largest retailer announced Tuesday that Mark Schindele, 45, who was senior vice president of merchandising operations, will now run the Canadian operation. The changes are effective immediately.
    
Schindele has played a key role in launching new store formats like Target Express and CityTarget in the U.S.
    
Target, based in Minneapolis, also said that it will be naming a nonexecutive chair in Canada. In its newly created advisory role, the chair will provide counsel and support to the president of Target Canada to ensure all strategies and tactics align with the Canadian marketplace.
    
Target is trying to fix its flailing operations in Canada, its first foray outside the U.S. It's also trying to recover from a massive data breach in the U.S. that has cost it customer trust.
    
Under the leadership of Fisher, 38, the company opened more than 100 stores north of the border, but shoppers have complained that prices are too high, and the Canadian stores have been wrestling with inventory problems.
    
As a result, sales have been weak and the company recorded a loss of nearly a billion dollars in its first year.
    
The news comes two weeks after Target announced the abrupt departure of CEO Gregg Steinhafel. John Mulligan, the company's chief financial officer, has replaced him as interim CEO.
    
"We are grateful to Tony for leading Target's first international launch," said Mulligan in a statement. "One of our key priorities is improving performance in Canada more rapidly, and we believe it is important to be aggressive.
    
"Mark's broad understanding of the retail industry and his record of leading global operations will help accelerate efforts to drive improvements across our Canadian business."
    
Target's net income fell 34.3 percent to $1.97 billion in the year ended Feb. 1. Revenue slipped 1 percent to $72.6 billion.
    
Target is expected to report first-quarter financial results Wednesday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Mark Schindele
Photo: Target
Photo: AP/Steven Senne

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