January 18, 2011

Conventional wisdom seems to be that Target will be as successful in Canada as it has been in the United States, following last week’s bombshell announcement that the company would enter the market via an acquisition. Target said it would acquire leasehold interests in 220 Zellers stores from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and during 2013 and 2014 it would open between 100 and 150 of the locations as Target stores.

The man in charge of the heavy lifting, and one of the reasons why Target’s brand of retail is expected to succeed in Canada, is Michael Francis, Target’s chief marketing officer. A lot of companies about to embark on their first foray into an international market might opt for a seasoned operations executive to manage the details. Not Target.

January 13, 2011

Walmart Canada has a few years to get ready for the arrival of Target following yesterday’s major announcement that its arch rival would be heading north of the border via an acquisition. That is the same strategy Walmart employed all the way back in 1994 when it bought 122 former Woolco stores. Walmart now operates 323 stores in Canada, and by the time Target gets around to opening its first units in 2013 that figure will probably be closer to 400.