Target Insists Canada Expansion Plan to Be Tentative

Target Corp. said it would take time before deciding on entering Canadian market. Analyst says their missing out chances to profitably expand in healthy Canadian soil.

Target Corp. said they are eyeing to open stores in Canada but follow it up by saying it is too early to determine when since they are only exploring for possibilities for the moment.

Hadley Barrows, spokeswoman of the company said that they have not confirmed that it will be Canada and the option that they are actually looking for Canada, Mexico and Latin America.Barrows also added that it could even take three to five years before coming up with a firm decision.

This is not the first time that Target planned for market extension in Canada. About 20 years ago, the company was part of the American superstores who considered expanding up north and possibly buying Woolco. However, Walmart won in that bid and Target headed for other expansion plans.

It was also rumored in 2004 that Target is having negotiation with Hudson's Bay Co. to buy its Zellers stores but nothing ever came of it.Other major U.S. retailers have also laid out plans to expand in Canada. However, both Bloomingdales and Nordstrom are still looking for the right opportunity before deciding to kick in.

Wendy Evens, head of retail consultancy Evans and Co. Consultants Inc. said that one of the major constraints for U.S. retailers is the lack for attractive retail space left especially at most popular shopping super centers.

However, retail analyst John Winter of John Winter and Associates said Target and other U.S. retailers should take prior notice on what they are missing by delaying expansion decision. He believes that Target may fill up the gap between existing markets such as Wal-Mart, Sears, and the Bay in Canada.

For now, Target is focusing on renovation its 340 existing stores this year, investing $1 billion for the project.


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