Wal-Mart Canada braces for a retail showdown with U.S. competitor Target Stores who is flexing its growth muscle opening 21 new stores within the next week across Southwestern Ontario.
Target said 17 locations opened today (March 19), and four locations are set to open on March 28.
These soft openings follow the launch of three pilot stores and will allow Target to continue to engage in volume testing to ensure stores are prepared to deliver the Target brand experience to guests ahead of grand opening in early April.
The 21 new locations are in addition to pilot stores in Guelph, Milton and Fergus, and will complete the 24 stores scheduled to open in March. Target is set to open 124 stores across Canada throughout 2013.
"Welcoming the first Canadian guests at our pilot stores was a great moment for all team members at Target," said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. "We have learned quickly from the results of our pilot stores and are committed to delivering on Target's Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise as we approach our grand opening in early April."
Guests will be welcomed into bright, clean stores with wide aisles, great guest service and a trend-right merchandise assortment. The majority of the 21 locations will feature a licensed Starbucks, as well as an in-store pharmacy designed to provide guests with patient-centered health care.
Target says it's committed to providing Canadian guests with a one-stop shopping destination for affordable, stylish, quality products; everything from fashion, beauty and apparel, to home, grocery, personal care and more.
Locations opening to the public on March 19 include:
Ajax - Durham Centre
Aurora - Aurora Shopping Centre
Brampton - Shoppers World Brampton
Burlington - Millcroft Centre
Cambridge - Cambridge Centre
Etobicoke - Cloverdale Mall
Hamilton - Centre Mall
Lindsay - Lindsay Square Mall
London - Masonville Place
London - Westmount Shopping Centre
Newmarket - Upper Canada Mall
Orillia - Orillia Square Mall
Toronto - Centrepoint Mall
Toronto - East York Town Centre
Waterdown - Flamborough Power Centre
Whitby - Taunton Road Power Centre
Windsor - Devonshire Mall
Locations opening to the public on March 28 include:
Brampton - Trinity Common
Burlington - Burlington Mall
Mississauga - Square One Shopping Centre
Toronto - Shoppers World Danforth