Target Corp. is laying off about 550 employees who work in the Twin Cities, as it continues to wind down its Canadian business.
The Minneapolis-based retailer said about 350 of those positions would be eliminated Wednesday, while the rest would continue with the company until the Canadian stores are closed. Liquidation sales at Target’s 133 stores in Canada are expected to be completed by May 15.
In addition, Target said it will eliminate 170 positions at its tech operations in India that supported the Canadian operations.
“This is a difficult day for the Target team but we continue to believe that the steps we are taking are the right ones for the company,” Katie Boylan, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Before Wednesday’s layoffs, the retailer employed about 13,500 people in the Twin Cities, including roughly 10,000 who work at its headquarters.
Target said affected employees will remain on the payroll for at least 60 days and “comprehensive” severance packages will be given out based on their years of service. The company added that it will pay the employer portion of their benefits for the next six months.
Last month, Target said it would shut down its unprofitable Canadian operations less than two years after opening them. More than 17,000 employees in Canada are losing their jobs as a result. Target also said at the time that closure would lead to layoffs at the headquarters for positions that supported the Canadian operations.
This round of layoffs is Target’s largest in several years. In October, it gave pink slips to about 80 headquarters employees in property development, citing its slower pace of opening new big-box stores. And in January 2014, as it grappled with losses in Canada and the aftermath of a data breach, Target laid off about 475 employees and said it would not fill 700 openings.