Target won't entice cross-border shoppers to stay home
Windsor store to open at 8 a.m. Tuesday
American retail giant Target has no intentions of trying to convince Windsorites to shop locally rather than spending their money at Target stores in Michigan.
"This is nothing against the Windsor market, but I work for Target," Tony Fisher, president of Target Canada, said during a media tour of the Devonshire Mall location on Monday.
"For me, whether they shop in our Target U.S. stores or the Target Canadian stores, it’s all Target to me.
"What we wanted to do was bring a convenient shopping experience to people in this market. This is something that might be a 10-minute drive from your home and you can come in and come out. So I think from that perspective, from a convenience perspective, I'm really excited about the potential that this market has even though we have so many stores that are across the border"
Fisher claimed Monday that customers in the Greater Toronto Area have already starting choosing Canadian Targets, such as the one in Milton, over American counterparts.
"People were driving an hour and half to Buffalo. Now they can drive 30 minutes across town," Fisher said.
Fisher also said the Windsor Target will match only Canadian prices.
"We want our prices to be incredibly competitive with the local marketplace," Fisher said.
Windsor's store, at least from an apparel standpoint, will be uniquely Canadian.
An athletic apparel display featured only the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays. There was no Detroit Red Wings or Detroit Tigers clothing.
"The biggest thing we encourage stores to do is offer feedback. If we have local feedback from our guests that say 'hey, we're dying for Detroit Red Wings product and dying for Detroit Tigers product,' we'll think about it," Fisher said.
However, Fisher said local stores don't have authority to order merchandise.
Target is opening 17 stores in various communities across the province Tuesday, including the Windsor store at 8 a.m.
Overall, Target plans to open 124 stores across Canada throughout 2013. Most are in former Zellers locations.
Hundreds of workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers of Canada were thrown out of work when Target came to Canada.
Target said former Zellers workers who applied for jobs are guaranteed an interview but not employment.
"We have many people that worked for Zellers," Fisher said. "We guaranteed every Zellers employee an interview with Target. If we think they're going to be supportive of the brand standards we want, they're absolutely welcome."
The union told CBC News last week that in areas where Target has already done its hiring, that "guaranteed interview" policy hasn't necessarily translated into jobs.
"What we've heard is a lot of complaints from Zellers workers who have had a lot of years of service and maybe have gone through two or three interviews and just don't get the job and are not given any reason either," Kevin Shimmin said last week, adding that Target should have offered jobs to Zellers employees when they bought the stores.
With files from CBC News