After a recent customer-satisfaction survey found Target is floundering in the eyes of Canadian consumers, experts are suggesting the disappointment might be the result of too much early hype over the American retail giant.

There was a huge buzz among consumers when Target opened its first Canadian stores in March. But a survey released by Forum Research suggests the new locations have not lived up to initial expectations for many bargain-hunters.

"I think there is a bit of a disappointment compared to expectations," retail expert David Ian Gray, of DIG360, told Canada AM. "That will settle down over time, but I think that explains some of the lag with other retailers."

Of the 1,500 Canadians polled, only 27 per cent said they are "very satisfied" with their experience at Target, putting them below all other competitors, including Costco and the Hudson's Bay Co.

Part of the problem, according to Gray, is that Target cannot match its American pricing in Canada.

"But a bigger problem is that they've still got some kinks to work out in their distribution and inventory and there's been a number of cases of empty shelves and stock shortages," Gray said.

Professional shopper Angela Koszuta said that when Target first came to Canada she was excited -- but that excitement soon faded.

"When I walked into the store, I was actually kind of miffed that it wasn't as glossy and as shiny as I had thought," Koszuta told Canada AM. "It just didn't wow me."

Koszuta says that Target needs to attract big name designers, and improve its in-store designs to attract the Canadian consumer.

"If I'm just going for a T-shirt and a pair of pants for my kid, I can go to Walmart. We have that, and Walmart does it well. So I think Target has to do something a little bit extra."

Koszuta added: "I want them to be the cooler younger sister to Walmart, and they just aren't there yet,"

Despite Target's poor showing in the recent survey, Gray sayshe believes their growing pains will eventually get sorted out.

"I think objectively they're going to have 125 stores open this year; they're going to be a formidable force on the Canadian retail landscape," Gray said. "They've already altered the course of retail in Canada."