Lisa  Gibson

Lisa Gibson

Target zeros in on July 16 opening date for new Kelowna store

Giant U.S.-based retailer to launch a new store at Orchard Plaza shopping centre on Cooper Road.

Kelowna’s newest department store has a target date for opening—July 16.

Officials with the Canadian arm of Target—the giant American retailer currently making a massive move into the Canadian marketplace after buying hundreds of properties that used to house Zellers stores—were in Kelowna Thursday to show off the company’s newest outlet and announce the opening date.

Lisa Gibson, spokeswoman for Target in Canada, said the 90,000-square-foot Orchard Plaza location—expanded by about one-third from its days as a Zellers store—is currently having the finishing touches put on it in preparation for the upcoming opening.

“We are very excited to be opening here,” she said.

Inside the store is very similar to Target outlets across the United States and in other parts of Canada.

Its wide, clear aisles, bright colours and lack of canned music, are all ways that the store plans to keep its shoppers minds on the task at hand—shopping.

“Our focus is on having a distraction-free shopping experience,” said Gibson.

The Kelowna store is part of the third of five “waves” of store openings for Target in Canada as it makes its initial foray outside of the United States.

The local store will have a staff of 127 and is the 48th of an estimated 127 stores Target plans to open in Canada this year.

Carrying some brands familiar to Canadian buyers, such as Roots, Beaver Canoe and the Cherokee clothing line, which was available at Zellers, new lines in other departments that up to now were only available in the U.S., will also be introduced.

In addition to clothing for the whole family, the store will carry electronics, children’s games, make-up, housewares, seasonal goods, books, sports equipment, home and garden supplies and even groceries.

The large grocery department, which will use Eastern Canadian grocery store chain Sobey’s as its source for products, will not, however, carry fresh produce.

Recognizing the large seniors’ population here, shoppers at the Kelowna store will be offered the use of wheelchairs and in-store scooters.

While the new store will have a Starbucks coffee shop it will not include a restaurant.

Gibson said some items offered here will be priced on par with U.S. stores, while others will have the Canadian mark-up price.

The Kelowna store, which had a 36,000-square-foot addition added to its south end along Springfield Road, will have a design feature no other Target store in the country has—an illuminated glass section of wall facing Springfield that will make it more visible to passing traffic, especially at night.

Last year, Target announced it had bought 220 former Zellers locations across Canada and planned to turn about 130 into Target stores. Some of the remaining stores were sold to competitor Walmart, while others may one day become Target stores.

Gibson said the company is spending an average of $10 million per store to renovate them for the first five waves of openings. The average size Target store in Canada is 114,000-square-feet.

In this region, Target is opening stores in Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton.

The company did not buy the larger former home of Zellers in West Kelowna. That particular store closed in March.

Kelowna Capital News