The Germans didn’t know the precise landing point of the allied of invasion of Europe, but Walmart now knows where Target plans to launch its assault on the Canadian market.
Walmart stores in Ontario will be the first to face fresh competition from Target, as the company this week disclosed the Canadian province would be home to its first 24 stores, which are slated to open next March or April. Those familiar with the Canadian market weren’t surprised by Target’s choice of landing points as the company’s Canadian headquarters is near Toronto in the city of Mississauga – the same as Walmart – and Ontario is Canada’s most heavily populated province with about one third of the nation’s 36 million residents.
Target is entering the densest province first in a classic retail expansion strategy to establish a critical mass of stores as quickly as possible to leverage expenses and gain operational efficiency.
The Ontario opening are part of a larger strategy that calls for the eventual addition of between 125 and 135 units stemming from last year’s acquisition of 189 leases of former Zeller’s locations, a portion of which were actually sold to Walmart. The arrival of Target represents some serious, yet familiar, competition for Walmart and with Target planning to invest between $10 and $11 million in remodeling costs per unit it won’t be the pushover that Zeller’s was.
Meanwhile, in Western Canada, the Calgary Herald reported that Target plans to build a 1.3 million square foot distribution center just north of Calgary, one of three such facilities the company plans to operate nationwide.
The Ontario store locations disclosed by Target include the following:
London Westmount, Westmount Shopping Centre
Kawartha Lakes, Lindsay Square Mall
Newmarket, Upper Canada Mall
Milton, Milton Mall Shopping Centre
Cambridge, Cambridge Centre
Toronto, Centrepoint Mall
Mississauga, Square One Shopping Centre
Ajax, Durham Centre
Orillia, Orillia Square Mall
Brampton, Shoppers World Brampton
London, Masonville Place
Windsor, Devonshire Mall
Toronto, Cloverdale Mall
Toronto, Shoppers World Danforth
Burlington, Burlington Mall
Toronto, East York Town Centre
Aurora, Aurora Shopping Centre
Fergus, Gates of Fergus
Hamilton, Centre Mall
Guelph, Stone Road Mall
Burlington, Millcroft Centre
Waterdown, Flamborough Power Centre
Whitby, Taunton Road Power Centre
Brampton, Trinity Common