Target Canada pulled out a little from the present and a little from the past for its road show tour through Winnipeg Tuesday night.
The retailing giant brought in Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd and Chicago Blackhawks legend Dennis Hull for an event at Red River Exhibition Park.
Visitors were given a complimentary pass into "Manitoba’s largest drive-thru light show," but they also had their Sharpies at the ready for autographs. The hardiest of kids were scheduled to have a skate with Ladd, too.
"Our objective is to meet with Canadians, tell them more about Target, get to know Canadian communities and show them how we like to surprise our guests," said Sebastien Bourchard, the company’s manager of public relations.
The east-west tour has featured different events in each city. Quebec City, for example, had a lightshow and a concert while Toronto was highlighted by a performance from the Canadian Tenors.
"When we were figuring out what was best for each market, we thought Winnipeg is definitely a big hockey city, let’s do something around that," Bouchard said.
Target plans to open 124 stores across the country, the vast majority of which will be in old Zellers locations. By next spring, it will have replaced Zellers at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre, Grant Park Shopping Centre and Southdale Centre in Winnipeg and at the Shoppers Mall in Brandon.
The company also plans to build a stand-alone store on the site of the soon-to-be demolished Canad Inns Stadium at Polo Park Shopping Centre.
Tuesday night’s event was originally supposed to feature Hull and his older brother, Winnipeg Jets legend, Bobby, but a scheduling glitch prevented the elder Hull from attending.