Ow, Canada: US retailers get the cold shoulder

ANNE D'INNOCENZIO CHARMAINE NORONHA AP Retail Writer Published:

TORONTO (AP) -- For years, Canadians would cross the border to the U.S. to shop at Target. Exporting its cheap chic there seemed like a no-brainer.

Cracking the Canadian retail market, one-tenth the size of the United States', looks simple. But a year after opening more than 100 stores north of the border, Target has found business isn't so easy.

Shelves are hard to keep stocked. Shoppers complain the prices are higher than at U.S. stores. Sales have been weak, and the retailer lost nearly a billion dollars in Canada for the year.

Now, Target is increasing marketing to convey it has unbeatable prices, while trying to make sure it has the right merchandise at the right time. Target says it's not planning to permanently cut prices.