Target’s cross-country march

Retailer strives to secure customer loyalty with discount on all REDcard-holder purchases.

Ernie Nairn Assiniboia on the Move
Ernie Nairn
Assiniboia on the Move

redcardHow is Target, Canada’s newest retailer, doing and what are others planning to do?

Target opened three stores in Ontario in March and an additional 21 stores in the Greater Toronto area in April plus another 24 stores in May in Western Canada. And that saw Canadians spend $86 million since these new Canadian Target locations opened in the first quarter of this year.

Roots signs on

Target+Beaver+Canoe+Roots+Home+Mens+WomensWhile sales at the Canadian outlets have started to level off in recent weeks, the retailer’s REDcard program, which offers Target debit or credit card holders five per cent off on all purchases, will help drive customer loyalty in Canada, sending them back to Target for food, health, beauty and household essentials.  So far 32,000 Canadians have signed up for the program.

Now, Target is bringing an added dose of Canadiana to its stores north of the border through a new partnership with Beaver Canoe. The United States-based retailer has announced an exclusive collaboration with the Beaver Canoe brand, which is part of Roots Canada. In what is billed as a first for the brand, the Beaver Canoe for Target collection will feature home decor products. The home collection will include more than 65 pieces, including furniture, pillows, lighting, frames, vases and candles.

The Beaver Canoe collaboration with Target will also encompass a clothing collection for the retailer which will include hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts, track pants and long-sleeve tops for toddlers to adults, in addition to outerwear and accessory offerings for men and women. Prices for items in both the home and apparel collections will range from about $8 to $100 And the introduction of Target stores to Canada has prompted other Canadian retailers to look to future expansion into Western Canada.

Quebec firm makes its move

Quebec based La Maison Simons which began business in Quebec City 165 years ago, is now expanding westward into Ontario and Alberta. In October 2012, they opened an exciting new 118,000-square-foot retail outlet in the West Edmonton Mall and in mid August will open a ninth location at Montreal’s Les Galaries d’Ànjou. And their Canada-wide expansion could see new stores opening in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto.

The company is currently negotiating space for two Toronto locations formerly occupied by Sears’ outlets. Their first Ottawa store will be in operation in 2015 at the Rideau Shopping Centre and they could open a second Ottawa-area location in Gatineau. A Winnipeg-based store was in the works for the The Elms redevelopment project proposed by David Asper for the former Bomber stadium site, but that unfortunately did not materialize at that time.

Brings bold design

For those readers unfamiliar with the name La Maison Simons, company president Donald Simons, a direct descendent of company founder John Simons, has quickly learned the importance of meeting the clothing needs of modern society and their fashion needs and wants.

La Masion Simon has become the place to shop for creations by the top bold and young designers who are revolutionizing fashion in both Europe and North America today. La Maison Simon’s expansion, when it happens, will bring some much needed retail excitement long overdue for Winnipeg and other major cities across Western Canada.

Ernie Nairn is president of the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce.

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