The recent news that Target is moving into Canada by buying up most of the existing Zellers stores has been greeted by many eager Canadian shoppers as good news all around. If nothing else it will inject new life into what is basically a pretty boring store (Zellers).
Long gone are the days when we were concerned about Canadian ownership of our major retail stores. The venerable Hudson’s Bay Company – first chartered in 1670 and therefore one of the oldest companies in the world – was purchased by the US private equity firm NRDC Equity Partners, in 2008.
I’ve been led to believe that Target has a pretty good reputation. Every time we visit Port Charlotte in Florida we inevitably end up driving around looking for a restaurant, or more often, Walmart, and whenever we pass the Target store Judy says something like “Let’s go to Target. I really like Target.”
That’s when I instinctively point the car in the direction of Walmart. Why? The last time I went to Target I ended up sitting around waiting while the others in my party browsed the, admittedly higher quality household goods and clothing departments. At least at Walmart I can look at the cheap sports gear, buy some cinnamon buns at the bakery, or find a toothbrush in the pharmacy department. I can’t imagine actually looking very closely at the clothing at Walmart. If you see something you like you just buy it. Otherwise, it can wait.
Anyway, on our recent two week trip to Florida I figure we went to Walmart at least 15 times while I managed to avoid getting to Target at all. By the way, that’s about 13 times more than I’ve visited our own Walmart (just outside of Waterloo) in the last couple of years.
That says something (I guess) about the relative merits of the stores in the two locations. The Walmart store in Port Charlotte is nice. In Waterloo, not so much.
And by the way, I still think Target has higher quality items. And a cool logo too.