Target will close 13 struggling stores on Jan. 30 due to their poor financial performance, the company said Wednesday.
The decision to shutter the locations is made “after careful consideration of the long-term financial performance of a particular location,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. Target usually chooses to close stores after their profitability has been declining for a number of years, the spokeswoman said, declining to elaborate on the reasons for the closures announced Wednesday.
Target insisted the decision was about the individual stores, “not about the broader company in any way.” The company said it will offer affected employees the opportunity to transfer to other locations.
The closings are likely to fuel perceptions that Target and other brick-and-mortar stores are losing ground to online retailers amid escalating competition. The move, announced weeks ahead of peak holiday shopping season, stands in contrast to an announcement by online retailer Amazon on Oct. 20 that it would hire 100,000 temporary warehouse and shipping workers to assist with the holiday rush — a 25 percent increase from last year.
Target laid off some 2,000 professional employees in a series of workforce reductions in March, June and September. In addition, the company is still struggling to overcome the damage to its brand from a massive data breach and failed management decisions.
In December 2013, Target revealed that the personal information of as many as 70 million of its customers had been stolen in a computer hack that compromised credit card and debit card accounts in its system.
And in January 2015, Target closed all 133 of its stores in Canada after failing to gain traction there.
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