On January 15, Target announced that it was closing all 133 of its Canadian store locations. Of these, many locations are considered to be less-than-desirable. A few Target locations stand out, however, especially as they are located in top malls in urban areas.
Speculation is rampant as to who may replace Target in various locations. Some say Walmart could buy a number of locations, as could Loblaw, Home Depot, Rona, Canadian Tire, Giant Tiger, and a variety of other retailers (even gyms) looking to expand their Canadian presence. As well, sources say that Primark is looking to make its entry into Canada, and that it could be interested in a number of Canadian locations, as could a popular low-cost German grocer that we'll discuss in a separate article.
Here's our analysis of Target's 'best' five Canadian stores, based on their location. We also provide honourable mention to several others.
Chinook Centre, Calgary, AB: Target's 115,500 square foot, two-level Chinook Centre store is in one of North America's most productive malls. The increasingly upscale mall saw the September 2014 opening of Canada's first Nordstrom store, as well as new locations for upscale retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Tory Burch, as well as an expansion of upscale menswear retailer Harry Rosen. Given the exceptional location of Chinook Centre's Target, the space will be sought by a variety of retailers. Its size, ample ceiling heights and positioning in the centre of the mall makes a great location for Calgary's first Saks Fifth Avenue, for example.
Market Mall, Calglary, AB: Target's 120,500 square foot Market Mall location is well positioned in the centre of the mall, enjoying a high-traffic location beside the mall's Safeway grocery store. Although not quite as upscale as Calgary's Chinook Centre, Market Mall boasts a number of upscale retailers as well as an exceptional productivity of almost $900/square foot annually. The space could be subdivided to house multiple retailers, or be utilized by one large store.
Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby BC: Target's 116,700 square foot Metrotown location is well-located at the end of a hallway with tenants such as Victoria's Secret and Microsoft Store. The mall continues to upscale, though likely not enough for a luxury retailer such as Holt Renfrew or Saks Fifth Avenue. La Maison Simons is rumoured to be considering a location in the complex, and Target's exit could present the Quebec City-based retailer the right opportunity. (UDATE) Sources say, however, that Target's Metrotown space could end up being leased to Walmart.
Square One, Mississauga ON: The mall's 164,000 square foot Target is well positioned in a busy area alongside retailers such as Forever 21 and H&M, and is up the hall from the mall's 120,000 square foot Holt Renfrew, scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. Square One boasts sales in excess of $800/square foot annually. We're unsure what could happen to this retail space, though we're told that the mall's landlord would like to secure another upscale anchor to complement Holt's, La Maison Simons (opening in March of 2016) and Hudson's Bay.
West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton AB: The mall's 126,000 square foot Target is in the mall's original 'Phase I'. The wing is currently quiet, though that could change if mall management secure one or more vibrant replacement tenants for the space. We're told that the mall's landlord is already contemplating a variety of options, including securing one new anchor or dividing the space for multiple retailers.
The above is our speculative analysis. Target may choose to sell all leases to one retailer, sell leases individually, or defer replacement decisions to individual landlords.
Besides these five mall-based locations, Target has a variety of other valuable locations. These include, and are not limited to Target locations at Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa, Kingsway Mall in Edmonton, Coquitlam Centre in suburban Vancouver, Mic Mac Mall near Halifax, Masonville Place in London, Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, ON, Galeries d'Anjou in Montreal, Laurier Quebec (Quebec City), and several others.
We'll update you as we learn more on who will replace Canadian Target stores, especially concerning our top five list above.