TORONTO, Ont. – Attention, shoppers: Target stores will be coming to Canada with the $1.83-billion purchase of Zellers from the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The deal would see Target – the store which coined the phrase “discount chic” – take over up to 220 stores from the almost 280 Zellers stores across the country.
The company’s plan is to open 100 to 150 stories by 2013.
The majority of shoppers at Zellers’ Gerard and Pape location Toronto expressed disappointment over the change.
“I don’t like when things are taken over by the Americans, it seems like Canada’s just getting assimilated into the U.S., and that’s really a bad thing,” Norman told 680News.
“I think it’s kind of odd, seeing as how we need Zellers. It’s like a thing that’s been in Canadian history for a while,” said Elliott. “It would be odd to have something so big American.”
“That’s not a good idea. We like the name and it’s Canadian,” added one woman.
Charles agreed, saying Zellers has “been part of Toronto for years.”
Even an American reacted to the news in a negative manner.
“I never shopped at Target,” said Bryer. “I set foot once in a target and I was like ‘ok, that’s – no’.”
“Everything is made in China anyway,” said Remy. “Although it’s owned by American[s].”
And then, there were two woman who welcomed the news.
“I’m really happy that Target is coming here,” said Lois, while the other woman said Target is always her first stop whenever she travels south of the border.
An HBC spokesperson said they still have plans to operate some Zellers stores in parts of Canada.
The U.S. retailer, which helped coin the phrase “discount chic,” has long been exploring opportunities north of the border.
However, it hit several roadblocks that run the gamut from unattractive real estate locations for potential stores to the economic slowdown that reined in consumer spending.
Target said that under the agreement Zellers will continue to lease the locations from Target and run them as Zellers stores “for a period of time.”
They plan to unload the rest of the stores to other American retailers, such as J.C. Penney.