Winnipeg is growing and it has been exciting to see so many new retail stores opening up in the past year I am sure many of us thought that when IKEA arrived, Winnipeg made it on the map in a way we just hadn’t before.
Now another large new retailer, Target, has opened up in our city. One of the first locations to open is in my community, so I am excited to have it so near. Today, on the way to get groceries, I took a left-hand turn and ended up at the new store. There was no lineup, I found a parking spot — so I went in.
I was excited to finally be there, wondering what kind of products they would have, what the selection would be like, would I find any cool summer treasures. As I walked down the aisles, I took note of some of the comments I heard around me.
"The prices aren’t the same as in the United States!"
"They don’t have... (fill in the blank here)."
"There are empty shelves."
"I’m not waiting in that lineup, look at it!"
"No I don’t have time to wait for you to remake my drink!" (After hearing this one I told the barista that some people shouldn’t come to store openings.)
These comments led me to question people’s expectations.
I have opened new stores, have trained new staff and I have worked most of my life in some type of retail situation, selling something.
I have sold clothes, I have sold travel, and I have sold coffee. Perhaps this is why I was more interested in what people were saying than what I was looking at. I was very interested in their perceptions and their expectations.
My experience in this bright, clean new retail establishment was a positive one. However, I didn’t expect to buy anything, because I didn’t want to stand in line (even if it was going quickly).
I just wanted to see how it looked, who was there and check out what it had. I didn’t expect the prices to be the same as across the border. I hoped for, but didn’t expect them to have those lovely flavoured marshmallows I love so much.
I did expect it to be busy!
I noticed that there were employees everywhere, and a friendly employee chatting with everyone near the front of the line, asking how their experience was, and whether the wait seemed long.
I thought this was a nice touch. It’s a hard job opening a new retail store, especially for the employees.
It goes without saying that people are going to have some level of expectation, I just hope that most visitors to Target tempered theirs with some patience.
I am a person with very high expectations, but today,the sun is shining, it’s warm outside and, with reasonable expectations, I visited a new store and I’m looking forward to going back!
Tannis Ross is a community correspondent for St. Vital.