10 big international exits by retailers by Phil Wahba @FortuneMagazine January 16, 2015, 7:13 AM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons It’s easy to understand why international expansion is tempting for retailers eager for hot markets to sustain their growth rates. Target TGT thought the same in 2011 when it bought store leases from a dying Canadian discount chain as a quick way to open 124 stores in its first international market, one where archrival Wal-Mart Stores WMT gets $20 billion a year in sales. But as Target learned, international markets can be very tough to crack, even Canada, a market supposedly very similar to the United States. Target has announced it is exiting Canada and taking a $5.4 billion write down on a business which has also incurred more than $2 billion in operating losses, to better focus on its home market. Other retailers, American and international, have also followed the yellow brick road abroad only to exit after the going was tough. Here are just a few of the many examples of retailers exiting from once-promising markets in recent years.