TORONTO — Target Corp. was the talk of a Toronto shopping centre trade show on Tuesday as representatives of the cheap-chic Wal-Mart rival took meetings with developers to discuss its store rollout strategy in Canada, which could include up to 200 stores eventually.
The second-largest mass merchant in the United States behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is looking to open six to 10 stores in late 2014 or 2015, said Fred Waks, chief operating officer with RioCan, the largest public real estate developer in Canada.
Mr. Waks was one of several meetings Target executives took with real estate executives on Tuesday morning at the kickoff International Council of Shopping Centres convention.
This is the first time representatives of the retailer have attended the trade show, and the biggest indication yet that the retailer will make Canada a key part of its international expansion strategy.
“We are exploring oportunities in Canada,” Amy Reilly, Target spokeswoman, said Tuesday. “We are optimistic that our first stores could open by mid-decade.”
In June, the Wal-Mart rival confirmed that it was looking at Canada and other international development opportunities, but stopped short of saying it would open stores here.
“They wanted to discuss rollout plans. They are looking for an urban strategy and will roll out first in the Greater Toronto Area,” Mr. Waks said. “From our perspective they are really going to change retail in Canada.”
He said the retailer is looking to open “a couple of hundred units” over about a 10-year period.
Target, based in Minnesota, has 1743 stores in the U.S.