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Target hits bull’s-eye in Hamilton area

By Kevin Werner, News Staff

The Hamilton and Burlington area has become a prime target for a U.S.-based retail corporation.

Target Canada announced Jan. 5 it will open stores in 24 locations in Ontario, including four in the Hamilton/Burlington area, by March or early April 2013. Those Zellers stores to be converted are at the Hamilton Centre Mall, the Power Centre in Waterdown, Flamborough, the Millcroft Centre and Burlington Mall in Burlington, said Lisa Gibson, TargetCanada’s spokesperson.

Construction is expected to take between six to nine months to transform a Zellers into a Target store, she said. Gibson said the new Target stores will “have the same customer experience” as any of the company’s U.S.stores.

Target is prepared to spend between $10 million to $11 million to revamp each new location, said Gibson.

Other Target locations announced include Guelph, Fergus, Brampton, Orillia, Cambridge, Milton, London, and throughout the Toronto area.

“We took our time to review the locations, looked at the competition, and determined the best sites that will provide high performance for our stores,” said Gibson.

It’s expected between 150 to 200 people will be employed at each location. Gibson said current Zellers’ store employees have been informed about job opportunities at the new Target locations. The company will hold job fairs to fill openings at the new Target stores. A website encourages people looking for a job at Target to sign up at the website www.target.ca/careers. Gibson said people will be hired starting by mid-2012.

Target first purchased the leasehold interests of 220 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc. It then focused on 189 of the Zeller leaseholds. Target plans to open between 125 to 135 Target stores in Canada between 2013 and 214.

Gibson said no date has been set to announce other Target stores opening because the company is in current negotiations with employees in the other Zeller store locations. Under its purchase agreement with the Hudson Bay Company, which Zellers Inc. is a subsidiary, Target has to give a minimum six months notice to announce a Zellers store closure.

The Minneapolis-based Target Corporation purchased 220 Zeller leaseholds about a year ago for $1.8 billion. Target operates 1,750 stores in 49 states.

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