TORONTO - Target Canada is shopping around for hundreds of new employees and says it will eventually be hiring thousands of people.

The company is now hiring for positions at its headquarters in Mississauga, Ont.

Target says it is looking for about 100 staff by the end of the year, and more than 500 by the time it officially opens in 2013.

The retailer also plans to open 125 to 135 Target stores beginning in 2013 with each store expected to employ 150 to 200 staff.

Target says it is looking to hire everyone from district team leaders responsible for overseeing groups of stores across Canada right down to the store floor.

Target signed a deal earlier this year to take over up to 220 Zellers locations from Hudson's Bay Co. for more than $1.8 billion.

Zellers locations that Target acquired, but does not want are expected to be leased back to Zellers, Wal-Mart or others.

"We will be welcoming thousands of Canadians to our team in the years ahead, and will help us connect with people who want to join Target and help us transition into the Canadian market," Tiffany Monroe, vice-president, Human Resources for Target Canada, said in a release Tuesday.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) operates 1,755 stores in 49 U.S. states with revenues of more than US$67 billion in its last fiscal year.

The company has more than 355,000 employees and is the second-biggest discount retailer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart.

Target is expanding to Canada in a similar way Wal-Mart did in 1994, when it bought the chain of Woolco department stores in Canada, refurbished them and renamed them under the Wal-Mart banner.