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Target execs study Canadian shoppers


Are Canadian shopping patterns similar to those of Americans?

It's something Target executives are keen to find out.

"It's one of the things we are anxious to learn," Bryan Berg, Target senior vice-president for stores, said in the Times Colonist.

"When people are doing their cross-border shopping, I think those trips look a little bit different than what it might if you lived a couple of kilometres down the street from a Target store," Berg said in the article.

"I think it would be just speculation to be able to say at this juncture how that will look. But we'll become a lot smarter once we get our stores open and actually get some real experience."

The article says Target has carried out "listening tours" in Canada and are getting the message that shoppers here want a similar experience to what they have found in the U.S.

Berg said in the article, that some 30,000 Canadians hold Target credit cards and cross-border shop regularly.

Target will differentiate itself in the Canadian marketplace with its product selection, prices and service.

Speedy service is a Target hallmark, and this will be the same in Canadian stores.

Target is expected to battle it out with Walmart and Sears; but Berg als0 noted some "excellent" competition in Canada for grocery brands as well as stores like Canadian Tire and Shoppers Drug Mart.

So far, 110 Target sites have been announced for 2013. More information will be unveiled in the coming months, with Berg saying 125 to 135 stores will be opening next year.

The company has said it sees the potential for more than 200 stores, with a goal of $6 billion in annual sales.

Target officials are in Vancouver this week hiring senior staff to run stores in B.C.

The retailer has hired more than 300 team members at its headquarters in Mississauga and will be looking to over double that number by the end of the year, according to Berg.

Target is expected to create some 20,000 to 25,000 jobs in Canada.

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