Target gets go-ahead to replace Zellers stores
Published Friday, July 6, 2012 1:55PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 7, 2012 9:31AM EDT
Target has received final federal government approval to replace every Zellers store in the country, on the condition that the stores sell Canadian “cultural products” including Canadian magazines, books, music and DVDs.
The approval, granted Friday under the Investment Canada Act, requires Target to invest $3.5 billion in its Canadian stores, including hiring as many as 25,000 staff by 2015.
As well, the retail chain has to sell and promote Canadian cultural products as well as support Canadian cultural events and organizations.
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore said in announcing the agreement Friday that Target's investment in Canada's economy “will be of great benefit to Canadian workers, Canadian consumers, and their families."
Target is planning to open between 125 and 135 stores in Canada at former Zellers locations acquired from Hudson's Bay Co.
The stores are set to start opening next year.
Moore ordered the government review back in April, to determine whether Target's move into Canada would be of “net cultural benefit” to us. Until that point, the retailer's plans to take over Zellers stores had been purely a real estate transaction.
This is not the first time the heritage minister has ordered an Investment Canada Act review of a U.S. retailing giant’s plans to move into Canada. When online book seller Amazon set up a "fulfilment centre" warehouse in Canada in 2010, it too had to promise to create jobs for Canadians and support local cultural events.