On a glorious Monday around 10:00, I embarked on a journey. I went to Target Canada. Target Southdale to be specific, plastered on the edge of a blistery strip mall in Winnipeg.
I remember the first time I ever went to Target; I was a little late to hop on the bandwagon and first walked through their red doors in late 2011. I went to the Grand Forks location, and afterwards I decided that it was a great place to shop with surprisingly nice clothes. I ended up buying a bathing suit and a few tops. Target had a lot of good deals, but keep in mind that the States is cheaper in general. (Or was.. what’s our dollar at again?)
So fast forward to last year when I found out that Winnipeg would be replacing its dying Zellers stores with multiple Target franchises. I first went on opening day and joined the masses into the chaos. Strangely enough, me and most people I talked to all disliked the store, claiming it wasn’t what we expected – but unable to put our finger on why.
This specific Monday morning wasn’t very busy. I noticed a few mothers with their children, a few old men who seemed to enjoy just walking around, and some early morning grocery shoppers who lazily pushed around their carts in search of a good deal.
Most of the people that I saw didn’t have carts and were either walking around browsing, or searching for a specific item.
The store itself was large and clean, with an accessible layout. I have to say the employees were the best part of the experience. The second I walked in, I was greeted with a friendly hello and was acknowledged by many other workers throughout my visit.
Valentines is coming up so there was a large “LOVETACULAR” display which was bright and appealing. My only criticism is that it was towards the back of the store and was somewhat hidden. The other displays were nice; minimal, and usually focused around the price.
I casually asked an employee whether or not it’s been busy lately, and according to her, the days are quite slow. Their grand opening and first few months were steady, and the holidays had a good turnout, but it’s quickly losing thunder. (She didn’t say that last part, but I could sense it.)
I predict that Target Canada will not do terribly, but it will not be the huge success that they may have anticipated. The novelty has worn off, and they don’t have the same selection as the American stores. As Canadians, we are often used to taking a backseat to Americans. Their TV shows are better, their film industry is unmatched, they do everything with a little bit more enthusiasm – but we don’t settle, and know when something isn’t good. Am I alone in saying I miss Zellers?