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October 23 2012

Aiming for Target (and Saying Goodbye to Zellers!)

By Amanda Aikman

I recently returned from a family vacation to Disneyland. Can you guess my favourite part? Here’s a hint…it wasn’t Space Mountain, the frozen bananas, or the photo op with Mickey. It was the Target run on the way home!

I have been a Target junkie for years. Not everyone understands this addiction. I have friends who say they’ve never noticed anything special about the American retailer and that they don’t even bother to stop for soft pretzels and Target popcorn when they’re in the vicinity (blasphemy!). But for those of us who start twitching the moment we cross the border in anticipation of deals on housewares, candy, the latest Target/designer collaboration, and the occasional ridiculously affordable bottle of wine, the bulls-eye box store will always hold a special appeal.

So naturally, when I first heard that Target was coming to Canada I was a little giddy. Even though it meant the passing of the iconic Canadian Zellers chain. I bought my first bike at Zellers. I worked at a Zellers restaurant briefly when I was in high school. Zeddy and his original home will always hold a nostalgic place in my heart. Speaking of Zeddy's home, you can follow his search for a new one, or apply to adopt him yourself, on Zellers' facebook page. And now, the closer Target gets (select stores are set to open this winter – you can keep up to date on your local store’s progress here), the more I wonder if/how it will compare to the cross-border Target-shopping experience.

Will the prices be as low? Will the selection be as varied? Will the online shopping be as good as it is in the US? Will the popcorn be as blood pressure-raisingly salty? Will having a Target in walking distance cause it to lose its mystique/appeal? Who knows...but I’ll likely be there on opening day to find out!

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