Target Canada today opens its first nine stores in B.C. as well as 13 others across western Canada, the chain announced yesterday.
A 10th B.C. store and one additional Alberta store will open next week.
The openings are part of a 124-store rollout across Canada that is set to be complete by the end of the year.
New Metro Vancouver Target stores open today include ones in:
- Coquitlam's Coquitlam Centre;
- Delta's Scottsdale Mall; and
- Langley's Willowbrook Shopping Centre.
Other stores across B.C. open today include ones in:
- Campbell River's Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre ;
- Cranbrook's Tamarack Mall ;
- Kamloops' Sahali Centre Mall ;
- Nanaimo's Nanaimo North Town Centre ;
- Vernon's Village Green Mall ; and
- Victoria's Tillicum Centre.
All stores will carry the full range of products offered at U.S. stores, except for alcohol. There will also be some regional variation to cater to varying customer demographics.
"We will have differentiated assortment of products in certain categories, especially food," Target Canada president Tony Fisher told Business in Vancouver May 6, following a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade.
"Think about things like steamers and rice cookers. We're overinvesting in things like that in Vancouver versus the rest of the chain."
The rollout comes more than two years after Target's January 2011 announcement that it would pay the Hudson Bay Co. $1.825 billion for up to 220 Zellers lease agreements.
Target Canada later confirmed buying 189 of those leases, of which it sold 39 to Walmart Canada. The leases that it will not use for its planned 124 store openings were either sold to other retailers or returned to landlords.
"The approach Target is taking is similar to the one Walmart took a couple decades ago," said Jim Smerdon, vice-president and director of retail consulting at Colliers International.
Walmart bought most of Woolco's 120 Canadian stores in 1994 and started its Canada-wide expansion.
"We might see that approach again because the incremental approach of locating one store and then expanding your distribution network by one store each time you expand is so costly and time consuming," Smerdon told BIV. "There also might not be the real estate available."