Target's loyalty program popular with Canadians, says president

3/28/2013

Target Canada president Tony Fisher revealed Tuesday that some 44,000 Canadians have signed up for the Red Card program.

He made the announcement at a Canadian Club of Toronto luncheon, one day before the company’s hosted Hollywood megastars Sarah Jessica Parker and Blake Lively at the Toronto's first store opening (See pictures at bottom of story).

The Red Card program offers customers a five per cent discount on just about everything in the store, including grocery.

According to experts, the average Canadian discount program gives shoppers between a half and 2 per cent discount on their purchases.

Fisher also addressed what some media outlets are calling “sticker shock” among consumers: many Canadians, it seems, were expecting Target’s prices to be the same in Canada as in the U.S.

“We are not trying to compete with ourselves,” he said, echoing earlier comments. “We want to come in and compete with the retail landscape here.”

The Target exec explained the price difference is a result of a wide variety of factors: “Transportation costs are higher, distribution costs are higher, fuel costs are higher, wage rates vary across the country, the tax rates are different, cost of goods are different, the duties – I think the scale we have here in Canada is quite different from the incredibly different, densely populated U.S. marketplace,” he noted.

Fisher also said that when he moved to Ontario last year, he got a great sense of the retail climate from a consumer’s perspective.

“There just isn’t the same breadth of options from a one-stop shopping experience,” compared to the U.S., he told the audience. “I’d find myself going to a lot of different retailers, and it helped me learn the competitive landscape, but it also helped me learn about where we could fit in to this marketplace.”

Apparently, they are ‘fitting in’ as celebrity magnets. Check out these photos from the opening of Toronto’s first store on Danforth Ave.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Elisha Cuthbert

Tony Fisher and Blake Lively

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