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    Target Expands Canadian Push

    Retailer adds 84 more Zellers leases

    Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has finalized its real estate transaction with Zellers Inc. with the selection of 84 additional Zellers leases, added to the initial group of 105 leases selected in May.

    From this second group, Target has acquired the leasehold interests for 29 locations, the majority of which will open as Target stores beginning in 2013. The remaining leases have been or will be sold to other Canadian retailers or back to landlords.

    “Target is excited to take another meaningful step toward our expansion in Canada,” said Tony Fisher, Target Canada president. “We look forward to delivering a superior shopping experience for our guests throughout Canada and building on our strong reputation as a good neighbor and partner in the communities in which we do business.”

    Target announced in January that it would purchase, for nearly $1.8 billion, the leasehold interests of up to 220 sites currently operated by Zellers Inc., a subsidiary of Hudson’s Bay Co. The newest 84 leases include the 39 leases for which Target transferred the rights to Walmart, as announced in June. As part of its transaction with Walmart, Target acquired the lease for one of Walmart’s vacant properties, which will open as a Target store.

    Target plans to open up to 135 stores in Canada, the majority of which will open in 2013, beginning with the first cycle in March and continuing with four subsequent cycles later in the year. All selected sites that will become Target stores will be subleased to Zellers and will continue to operate as a Zellers store for some time. Locations that are rebadged as Target will be closed for up to nine months for major remodeling, with about $10 million spent on each location.

    Target Canada has already begun to hire team members for positions at its Mississauga headquarters in suburban Toronto. Each store in Canada will employ up to 200 people.

    Target operates 1,762 stores across the United States and will open its first stores in Canada in 2013.

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