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July 03, 2021

Target's arrival adding plenty of jobs to Canada's retail sector

The best-documented shift in Canadian retail will commence next year, when Target, after much ballyhoo, will finally open its doors north of the border.

Though in addition to providing a considerable boom to Canadian shoppers that may no longer have to flee to the border for their Tarjay fix, the superstore’s arrival is going to have plenty of economic side effects, too.

Target will already erase the Zellers name from much of the country, but of course it has to staff its 125-odd stores when they open next year.

What’s that mean? It means a torrent of retail hiring for Target in Canada, but also a need for other retailers to step up efforts to compete with the incoming U.S. giant.

After spending $1.83 billion to buy up Zellers stores to turn them into Targets, the Minn.-based retailer is looking for plenty of staff ahead of its long-awaited debut.

*Bing: Find a coming Target near you

According to Bloomberg News, Target will hire as many as 27,000 people in Canada next year, as well as 300 to work at its Mississauga, Ont., Canadian headquarters. Already, there is 400 Target staff working at the store’s HQ this side of the border.

But while 27,000 new jobs is great – of course, this does not account for the employees lost at the country’s Zellers – it’s what Target’s great hiring wave is doing at other retailers that may be the real story.

In response to Target’s arrival, Walmart has already said it will hire 4,000 new personnel in Canada this year, while Sears Canada not so subtly opened its largest store in the country last week, a 78,000 sq. foot mega location in Ottawa that allows shoppers to design their own furniture.

Certainly, the pressure will be on Canadian retailers, which will see plenty of future sales taken away by Target. Canadian Tire, for instance, is said to lose some $855 million in sales to Target, according to Kathleen Wong, an equities analyst at Veritas Investment Research.

But, that is Canadian Tire’s problem for now. In the meantime, Target’s arrival appears to offer great opportunities for the Canadian unemployed.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...