Target Opens in Canada, Meh

Target Symbol

Oh, Target. I had such big hopes for you. I’ve worshipped you from afar, spent countless hours drooling over your bounty and have occasionally, ravaged your stock and dragged it home by its hair. So when you came, guns blazing, into my territory, I was excited and nervous.

Would you live up to my high expectations? Would you be able to offer the same lovely, mass-produced goods at affordable prices? Most importantly, would I still be able to kit my kid out in cute outfits for under a twenty?

Baby blankets
I’m a sucker for pink. And packaging.

The answer is both yes and no. We’d been warned to not expect pricing parity by Target execs, but that doesn’t take the sting away. Walking into the store I was delighted to see The One Spot.

Target's One Spot
But $3 compared to $1 specials in the US!

But the excitement quickly faded when I noticed all items were $3. I understand the need to take currency fluctuations into account, but we know darn well One Spot items are only a buck a pop south of the border. Even adding in the shipping and taxes doesn’t justify this kind of a price increase in my books.

How Target Hit the Mark

Grey Throw Cushions
Cute details…
  • It’s always refreshing to find new lines and The Nate Berkus Collection was pretty cute. Love that studded pillow.
  • Target is tops at merchandizing. The store, is light, bright and clean. Shopping there doesn’t feel gross like it does at other discount department stores. Wandering through their aisles (the ones that are stocked) felt quite pleasant.
  • Packaged goods – the kind chock-full of high fructose corn syrup was attractively priced (go figure), as was cereal. If you need to stock up on trans-fat snacks, consider this your Mecca.

How Target missed the bull’s eye in Canada

Empty Store Aisle
So empty!
  • Lots of shelves were either cleaned out by zealous shoppers or perhaps the store hasn’t received all their stock yet.
  • The toy section wasn’t that large, which might disappoint some, however, I was pleased to see several educational toys dotting the shelves.
  • There’s far too many rubberneckers getting in the way of serious shoppers. But don’t worry, soon they’ll go back to Walmart.
  • I expected to see more product selection, especially in the food aisles. I was really hankering for some authentic Mexican and the Giada De Laurentiis line, but nada.

As much as I once longed for Target in Canada, I now wish it wasn’t here. What I really want is US Target in Canada – their products, their pricing. But the biggest bummer? Now everybody’s going to know exactly where I get Eve’s cute frocks and how much I pay for them.

Have you been to Target yet? What do you think of this new department store in Canada?

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13 thoughts on “Target Opens in Canada, Meh”

  1. nsesmithNancy

    I went on friday to the store in Forest Lawn Calgary, only 10 minutes from my work so very convenient.

    I had been warned that the other locations were crazy busy, luckily the lunch hour on friday was very tame.

    Overall, the store was very bright and inviting. I did a quick scan of some of my staple items, and was pleased they were available. Prices seemed reasonable, and the selection was still good. The only section that seemed a little sparse was the Sonia Kasiuk cosmetic line.

    Love the kids clothes, and the home decor.

    I will be back for sure!

  2. Was not really impressed. Some of the new stuff appealed to my magpie sensibilities, but the prices weren’t so great, or they proved to be so cheaply made that it was not worth spending my loonies. We had a great Zellers here that Target replaced, so perhaps I’m just still feeling petulant about it being gone. I’ll give them another try when their shelves are fully stocked….

  3. Target was a real downer for me.I went to the one in Kamloops and this week I went to one in Vancouver and what a waste.

    1. I know! We had such high expectations. I’m surprised Kamloops got one though. I thought they were only going into the really large cities.

  4. That’s strangle – our Spot area had lots of $1 items (I know because I bought a bunch of them!). Ours was very popular the first week it opened and they definitely had a really hard time keeping it stocked. I was there on Friday and they seem to have gotten into their stocking groove because there were barely any bare shelves. I too was sad to not see any Giada or Mexican food though. I also wasn’t really impressed with the clothes selection (it seems more geared to teens for the most part) either, though I did manage to find some stuff I liked. I’m a huge Target US fan, but expected that it would most likely be disappointing due to being let down when other retailers have come up, so I was pleasantly surprised for the most part.

    1. You’re so lucky! Do you live in Ontario? Maybe Target with bigger populations surrounding them brought in the goods cheaper?

  5. I was not a Zellers fan and compared to them I think Target will be a much better addition to my family shopping. I knew it would not be them same as the US. With that feeling in mind I was pleased with the clean look, layout and for what I went in for selection. It is all in the perspective I guess.

  6. Yes, the store is bright and clean, the prices are far away from those in US.
    I got a toy that has a price tag for $3 and I was charged $10. Luckily, I checked my receipt in the car and went back for refund… very disappointing.

  7. I am looking forward to Target opening here in Regina – not expecting the US experience but am hoping for a good alternative for cheaper than Safeway groceries/toiletries/cleaning supplies. I can’t stand going in Walmart and can’t ever find anything at Superstore. Like that they have the Red Card so I can get 5% back on purchase so will likely do most of my grocery shopping there.

  8. Christine Catherall

    I am in Red Deer and the Target here is decent. I am a huge Target US lover and found this one okay. I do like the home decor, Carters clothing for kids. I found the food over-priced compared to Walmart though. We have $1 items in our Spot area, as well as higher priced ones too. Not as good as a selection as the US by any means though. Oh well… nice and clean, bright, friendly staff. Zellers was so gross that I would not shop there for anything, so this is a nice change. Shelves are getting stocked more everyday it seems.

    1. I agree, Christine. At least it’ a welcome change from Zellers. I had no idea there was a Target in Red Deer. My sister lives on a farm near Drumheller so she’ll be happy. Thanks so much for commenting!

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