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Target will begin liquidating in two to three weeks

GoodLife fitness owner eyeing vacant locations

Target Canada will likely see more foot traffic in its stores over the next few weeks than any other time in its two years of operation.

Less than a week after announcing its Canadian exit, Target has made it known via Twitter that all its Canadian locations will begin the liquidation process in approximately two to three weeks.

Shoppers looking to take advantage of liquidation deals may be more apt to frequent Target’s popular Nate Berkus collection–according to experts at Desjardin. Home décor and apparel were Target’s strongest categories. Poor performing categories included household essentials like beauty and personal care products, as well as food and pet supplies.

With 133 stores and approximately 17,600 employees, Target expects to report roughly $5.4 billion losses. Winding down its Canadian operations will cost up to US$600 million.

Speculation has been rampant over which retailers will scoop up the real estate left behind with the vacant buildings. Analysts have singled out Walmart and Canadian Tire as potential bidders, but popular fitness club chain GoodLife has also voiced their interest.

Founder and chief executive, David Patchell-Evans says his company will look at Target Canada store locations as part of its growth strategy. GoodLife acquired 12 former Eaton’s stores in 1999, and is looking to have 400 fitness clubs by the end of 2015, up from about 350 this spring.

Target will work with a court-appointed monitor as it winds up its Canadian business. Target Canada will continue to operate for a time, but major decisions, such as the sale of its major assets, will require approval from the Ontario Superior Court.

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