Target Corp. has set its sights on Kamloops as it expands the number of locations in Canada.
Management at Sahali Mall told tenants Wednesday it has received word that Target will become a tenant in place of the current Zellers store "on or before March, 2013," manager Marg Artchibald said.
"What happens in the meantime we don't know," she added.
Employees at the Kamloops Zellers have not been told whether they will be offered jobs at the Target store, a manager said Wednesday.
A corporate spokeswoman for parent HBC said Target is expected to announce additional locations this week in addition to the 135 it detailed in May. Target entered into a deal to buy up to 220 leaseholds on Zellers stores from parent company HBC, which also operates Hudson's Bay Co.
"Zellers operations will continue business as usual until Target assumes those operations," the spokeswoman said.
The news comes as Target has established a website at http:// www.target.ca/careersto fill thousands of jobs. A senior Target official told the Toronto Star it will require 150 to 200 staff per store, roughly 50 per cent more than the same size Zellers stores.
Kamloops Chamber of Commerce president Peter Aylen said the store will be a boon to other retailers at Sahali Mall due to the traffic it will attract. It could also bring in shoppers from the region to spend more money in Kamloops.
"It will clearly be competition for Walmart. It will provide a bigger opportunity for consumers to purchase at lower prices."
Aylen said some small business may be affected by the retailing giant, but he thinks any worries are overblown.
"Some people thought when Walmart came it would be the end of the world. That hasn't been the case."
Archibald said tenants are excited by news of their newest prospective retailer, which is expected to drive numbers rivalling that of nearby Walmart.
"It's exciting for the mall. We just found out this morning."
It is expected Target will operate on the same footprint of the current Zellers store, about 115,000 square feet.
© Kamloops Daily News