Wal-Mart Target Showdown Reminds Retailers to Get Back to Basics

Target is expanding into Canada next spring. They face competition from U.S. neighbor Wal-Mart, who has been operating in Canada for years.

The head-to-head battle that will ensue brought up the importance of maintaining customer service. Diane Briesebois, president and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada, a trade association that represents retailers, spoke to Retailing Today about what Wal-Mart can do to keep its customer base strong.

“You want me to be honest? I’m going to be honest. With Target coming into Canada, there is a perception that (Wal-Mart’s) service in Canada is not as good as it is in the United States. I believe there will be an increased expectation around service and the number of people waiting in line. “I would pay attention to the way to stores look and how quickly customers are served at the checkout because Target does a good job with that.”

Target and Wal-Mart represent two of the largest discount retail providers in the world. Yet Briesebois’ comments remind retailers, regardless of their size or customer base, to never forget about the importance of customer service.

The details remain the same. Be genuine in all customer interactions. Always strive to provide the best service in the most efficient way possible. Don’t leave customers waiting. Never underestimate the value of a great first impression. It’s simple advice that every retailer, regardless of their product or niche, can use.

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