U.S. retail giant Target is hiring in advance of its store openings in Manitoba, which has one business expert warning that local retailers should prepare to compete.

Target Canada has begun recruiting "store team leaders" for the three locations in Winnipeg and one in Brandon that will open later this year.

The upcoming arrival of Target to Manitoba is expected to have a large impact on the province's retail industry, says Karen Keppler, the director of innovation at the University of Winnipeg.

"It would really affect the smaller stores more because there isn't much markup for them as it is, and to have to compete price-wise would very much hurt them," she told CBC News on Monday.

Keppler said local retailers will need to strategize over how they will compete with large companies like Target and Ikea, which opened its Winnipeg store in November.

Local companies can compete either by lowering their prices or making themselves and their products stand out.

Keppler added that Manitoba businesses aren't the only ones that should worry. Stores in places such as Grand Forks, N.D. risk losing Canadian customers who have traditionally gone south of the border to shop at, among other places, Target.

"I think Grand Forks needs to worry more so, even, than the 'mom and pop' stores here," she said.

"In Grand Forks, Canadian licence plates are the most in the parking lot."

Click on the video player above to watch Aadel Haleem's report.