Goodbye Zellers, hello Target! The U.S. chain is finally coming to Canada, $1.8 billion later
Rumours have been circulating forever now that Target is joining the ranks of U.S. retailers setting up in Canada, alongside J. Crew, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Crate and Barrel. Well, today those rumours were confirmed—and Toronto Life’s prediction from early 2010 was right. Target—or Tar-jay, in sarcastic French—will open in the Great White North by 2013, replacing the HBC-owned chain Zellers.
In a $1.8-billion deal announced Thursday, Target Corp. will acquire and convert most of the Zellers stores in Canada from parent company Hudson Bay Co., while the rest of the Target stores will be picked up by other retail enterprises. The Zellers takeover is similar to when Wal-Mart entered the Canadian market after snapping up Woolco stores in 1994.
The deal includes complex negotiations with Zellers landlords and is heralded as “industry-changing” by the Globe and Mail: “Zellers store leases will now be auctioned off to an array of other retailers, including potentially foreign players who have a growing desire to launch stores in Canada.”
“Industry-changing,” indeed. Target’s Canadian debut comes as welcome news for fashionistas on a budget who can finally pick up the much touted Rodarte for Target collection on this side of the border. Others—mainly such retailers as Canadian Tire, Winners, Great Canadian Superstore and Wal-Mart—are likely less keen, seeing as they’ll soon have a competitor that has more hype than all of them combined.