A Target employee returns carts to the store in Falls Church, Virginia May 14, 2012. Target Corp. (TGT) will report its first quarter results on May 16th.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A Target employee returns carts to the store in Falls Church, Virginia May 14, 2012. Target Corp. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

The just heralded New Year 2015 is poised to become a crucial one for Target Canada as it decides whether to keep or not its operations in the country. With its stores' glaringly empty shelves in the past months, analysts forecast a likely sell-off this year.

The company is expected to share its fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 25. Brian Sozzi, an analyst with Belus Capital Advisors, predicts either Target Canada announces it is already closing shop, or it would sell some of its stores to Walmart. Target, since opening its first store in March 2013, has seen nothing but red in its books. Last quarter, despite a $479 million record in sales, Target still lost $211 million in Canada before interest and taxes. Overall, from 2011 through the third quarter of 2014, Target Canada has lost about $2.1 billion.

Brian Cornell, the store's new CEO, had pulled out all the stops to revive Target Canada in just the recently concluded Christmas holidays. He made sure to stuff store shelves with thousands of new items that match the prices of its competitors. But a report by BNN revealed the quick injection hardly made any impact to the consumers. "A walkthrough of several Target locations in Hamilton and Toronto over the past two weeks shows minimal lineups -- and foot traffic that is often less than half of Wal-Mart locations in the same neighbourhood," BNN reported.

"It been a complete disaster," Scott Mushkin, managing director of Wolfe Research, told BNN. "Their sales per square foot [in Canada] are $140 and we think break even in $250."

If Target chooses to remain in Canada, it needs to jack up its same store sales by a whopping 21 percent annually for the next three consecutive years. Not an easy thing to do at all. "It's not something they can recover from," Mushkin said.

But there still remains a ray of hope if Target really wants to stay in Canada - sell some of its stores to Walmart, where its new CEO happened to come from. Cornell previously served as CEO of Walmart's Sam's Club chain.