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This article was published 26/5/2011 (3033 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Target Corp. lifted the veil Thursday on how it plans to establish a beachhead in the Canadian market and those plans include at least five stores in Manitoba.
The U.S retail giant announced the locations of the first 105 stores it will be taking over from Zellers and the list includes four stores in Winnipeg and one in Brandon.
But it will likely be another two years before Manitoba shoppers get to set foot in any of the new Target stores.
Target Canada president Tony Fisher told a media gathering in Chicago the company plans to spend up to $10 million renovating each outlet and won't begin opening the revamped stores until early 2013.
He said they'll continue operating as Zellers stores until about six to nine months before they're to open as Target stores, when most will be closed for renovation.
One local retail leasing specialist said when the new Target stores open, the real winners will be Canadian shoppers and taxpayers.
Sandy Shindleman, president of Shindico Realty Inc., said consumers will benefit because they'll have more places to shop. And taxpayers will benefit because the more U.S. retailers that set up shop in Canada, the less reason Canadians will have to shop south of the border.
"It's going to slow down the leakage of retail dollars," Shindleman said, "and that's going to help create jobs, help the tax base and help governments balance their books."
Under the deal it signed earlier this year with Hudson's Bay Co., Target agreed to buy up to 220 of HBC's Zellers stores for $1.8 billion. The deal will be completed in two phases, with half the store locations being unveiled now, when the first payment is made, and the other half in September, with the second payment.
The five Manitoba Zellers stores included in the first phase include the outlets in the Polo Park, Grant Park, Kildonan Place and Southdale shopping centres in Winnipeg and the Shoppers Mall outlet in Brandon.
The three not included are the stores in the Northgate Plaza on McPhillips Street, the Fort Richmond Shopping Centre on Pembina Highway and the basement of the downtown Bay store.
A Target spokeswoman said Thursday that just because the three didn't make the first list doesn't mean they've been rejected as potential Target sites.
"We're still evaluating Zellers sites," Amy Reilly said. "There is no Zellers store off the table yet."
A number of local retail leasing specialists said Target's long-awaited arrival is bound to shake up the Canadian and Manitoba retail markets. But probably not to the same degree its arch-rival — Walmart — did when it entered Canada in 1994 by acquiring the Woolco chain of discount department stores.
Ken Yee, senior executive vice-president of the Cushman & Wakefield office in Winnipeg, said Walmart was the first big U.S. retail chain to enter Canada and its subsequent decision to move into bigger, stand-alone stores was what led to the introduction of the retail power centre concept in Canada.
"Up until 1994, Canadians didn't know what a retail power centre was."
Yee said he wouldn't be surprised if Target follows Walmart's lead and leaves the shopping malls after a few years to open bigger, stand-alone stores in new or existing power centres.
He said Zellers stores are smaller than the typical Target store, which is usually about 135,000 square feet in size. And there may not be any room to expand some of the existing mall stores.
However, Shindleman and retail leasing specialist John Prall of Colliers International said they think otherwise.
Shindleman said the fact Target is spending up to $10 million to renovate stores indicates it plans to stay for the long term.
Firm's plans on Target
Here's more on Target's plans for Canada:
The first 105 Zellers locations announced on Thursday include 45 in Ontario, 19 in Quebec, 15 in British Columbia, 13 in Alberta, five in Manitoba, two each in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and one each in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The company plans to open 200 stores across the country over the next 10 years, including up to 150 in 2013. It's also anticipating yearly sales of up to $6 billion.
Each Target store will employ 150 to 200 employees versus 115 for the average Zellers store.
Target will try to position itself as a more stylish alternative to Walmart, its main competitor in Canada. Its stores also feature a more shopper-friendly design than Walmart, with wider aisles, lower display cases and better sight lines within the store.