Very little on the retail landscape has sparked more anticipation than the long-ballyhooed arrival of American general merchandise giant Target inside these Canadian borders. The first trio of the little darlings (in Milton, Fergus and Guelph, Ont.) flung open their doors a few weeks ago to throngs of expectant shoppers, fresh off a feeding frenzy of American hype over the place.
To better acquaint this country’s citizens on the retail onslaught poised to befall them, some Target (pronounced Tar-ché north of the border) tidbits:
• In 2010, Target spent nearly $2 billion to snap up most of the real estate assets operated by Zellers.
• The projected cost of renovating and expanding the former Zellers locations was estimated at over $1-billion when the deal was announced in January 2011.
• Target will invest between $10- and $12-million to renovate each of its Canadian stores.
• The company plans to open 24 Canadian outlets in March; 124 by the end of the year.
• The Target “look” emphasizes wide aisles and a broad selection of products.
• Target will staff each store with 150 to 200 employees — almost twice the number as in the Zellers outlets whose leases so many of these newcomers take over.
• Industry observers predict that Target will enjoy 200 per cent more sales per-square-foot than Zellers.
• Distinct from the States, products in Canadian stores will be displayed on white “gondolas” to be showcased more prominently.
• Awareness of Target’s brand jumped to 92 percent earlier this year, a considerable hike over the 70 percent who knew about the place when Target first announced it would open stores in Canada in 2011.