The Target diaries: Shock and dismemberment

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

Photo: Flickr/Mike Mozart

Like this article? Chip in to keep stories like these coming.



Canada is facing the biggest private-sector closure in recent history, and 17,600 Target workers will soon be out of a job. An employee of Target Canada is documenting the last days of work at the store during its liquidation.

Fixtures, furniture and equipment are marked with shocking pink stickers, including even the cashier stations reveal their going-out-of-business prices. Everything that can be grabbed is for sale. Locals and out-of-towners are gobbling up the remnants of a once-pleasant department store.

"Target Loves Canada," the slogan that once hung from the ceiling is now replaced with cluster frightening posters listing discount amounts and a grotesque countdown of days left to shop in the store.

Shoppers ask the store employees how many more days until another discount is added? The complaint in the break room these days is the intense feeling created by the encroachment of products and hardware moving to the front of the store -- the feeling of being pushed out the front doors. The red walls give the feeling of being eaten alive.

'All that is left is blood and feathers,' one shopper says. His loud comment is overheard by several workers, and while a few chuckle, others take in a deep breath.

A loud rumble catches my attention as a series of racks that used to display the popular Mossimo clothing brand travel past me and out the main doors. Shelves that once held Threshold are also pushed out of the building. The familiar Target tag line, "Expect More, Pay Less," is cut in half.

Retail buyers swoop in like crows and snatch up the shiny bits expecting to pay less while at the same time, perhaps, expecting the workers in this burning inferno to be the same friendly folks. Only a few months earlier, our huddle got a pep talk: the theme was sustainability. The Leader on Duty spoke of Target Canada's gallant effort to continually make improvements and operate their business more efficiently, to offer more sustainable products and provide resources to help the guests and us, the workers, live sustainable lives. That philosophy is now crippled and has harmed a great many workers, as though they had been thrown through broken glass.

The injured appear faithfully for shifts they are called in to work. Department managers are heroic in their efforts to accommodate the needs of the employees. It is not Target Canada, nor the bankruptcy companies, who control the attitude of the 'mutilated' employees during the takedown of the department store -- it is the people themselves.

Each person should be rewarded for being distinctively duty-bound. While at work, even while shuffling to and fro with sore feet, headaches, and depression, some laugh contagiously, others dance in the aisles and all perform their chores to the best of their abilities. We don't need Target in our lives to sustain.


Like this article? Chip in to keep stories like these coming.


Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.