U.S. Based Business ‘Target’ Expand Beyond Borders

Headquartered in Minnesota, Target has been long aware that more than 10% of its Canadian customers are crossing their southern border to chase “Cheap Chic.”

Now “Tar-jay” has officially announced a Canada expansion to better accommodate loyal shoppers. This came as no surprise to the business world.

In the mid ’90s, Target brought brilliant fashion designers in-house, and company sales exploded. Today big “T” employs more than 350,000 people who manage 1750 stores in 49 states.

July 10, 2010 Target celebrated its first Manhattan Island store opening, a 170,000 square foot Spanish Harlem behemoth.

Target’s much-loved persona springs from a long tradition of success. It began with founder George Draper Dayton, born in 1857. As a young lad, George went to work selling apples. He was so successful at the end of one year; the orchard owner who owed his employee $1800 suggested that George buy the place.

George did. In 1890 he moved on to Minnesota where he expanded to a broad range of merchandise. His store did $600,000 in sales that year.

The business has moved down through several generations past George’s 5 sons and changed its anchor-store name a few times. So it’s easy to understand why Target has international expansion plans today.

Target’s present announcement follows years of rumors that it was eyeing Canadian retail sales entry by purchasing Hudson’s Bay Co.-owned discounter, Zellers. But at that time, Hudson’s Bay was publically traded.

Now Target plans to invest one billion dollars renovating 340 Canadian stores. It will also add more groceries to its general merchandise as spending-conscious consumers continue to shop for staples at the big red bull’s eye.

Other department expansions will be in beauty items, home decor, electronics, and video-game departments.

Already planning to open 10 new stores in existing markets this year, Target did pull back from firm commitment to enter 10 new areas, saying those plans are contingent on the U.S. economy, meaning real estate costs, and internal retail conditions. 10 is a significant drop from the 58 U.S. stores Target opened in 2009

Like several big retailers, Target is also moving toward developing a new, smaller store format, which it plans to open in the “next few years,” the company said at an investor meeting in Philadelphia Thursday.

“We are excited about the growth potential for Target and believe we have the capital, talent, and right blend of discipline and innovation to deliver meaningful value to our guests and shareholders,” Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement.

“Targ’a'” has long had tough competition from Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer. It would appear now that customers, who at times turned away from “Cheap Chic” in lieu of low low prices, are returning.

Analysis predicted 2010 holiday sales improvement to be 0.2. The chain trumpeted its own lower prices with good ads then promoted expansion of groceries as well as other necessity items which bring shoppers back more frequently. Target’s customer traffic proved better than anticipated; hence buyers boosted December sales numbers to a 1.8 per cent increase.

Target’s success along with the fact that American auto makers now sell 2.4 million units annually to China should be of some help to the U.S. economy.