The Chilliwack location of the popular American retailer Target is scheduled to open by the end of 2013, the company announced Thursday.
The Zellers store at Cottonwood Mall will be one of 18 British Columbia locations out of 125 across Canada converted to Target by 2013. Up to 10 more will open starting in 2014 and beyond.
In January, the retailer announced it was buying up to 220 leaseholds from Zellers, a unit of Hudson's Bay Co., but it was not announced at that time which stores would become Target.
In May, the company confirmed the Zellers at Cottonwood Mall will become Target as part of the chain's $1.825 billion purchase.
"Construction has already begun on our first set of stores and we are excited to see the transformation as the Target brand comes to life in Canada," said Tony Fisher, president of Target Canada, in a press release.
Ten stores are slated to open in B.C. in spring 2013, including locations in Langley, Delta and Coquitlam. Two more are scheduled for summer 2013.
The Chilliwack location is among six set to open in the winter of 2013. The others are in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Maple Ridge, Richmond and Surrey.
Observers suggest the decision to turn come to Chilliwack was likely to position the company up against Walmart.
Director of retail and strategic planning at Colliers International Consulting Jim Smerdon said in cases like this, the company "clearly made those location decisions in the first round very strategically to position themselves against Walmart."
Six to nine months prior to opening as a Target, the stores will be closed for a remodelling, which is expected to cost about $10 million.
Target expects to employ between 150 to 200 people at each store and has already started hiring for its store leadership positions. Hourly recruitment will begin towards the end of this year.
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