Minneapolis-based Target Corporation is accelerating its plans to expand into Canada, with plans to hire 100 people in the country over the next six months, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel told the WSJ that the company is "moving fast and furious" to ensure that its entry into the country is smooth and successful.
In January, Target announced plans to pay about $1.8 billion to take over the leases of up to 220 retail sites operated by Zellers, Inc. The company said in April that it hopes its expansion will help it reach sales of roughly $100 billion-and earnings of about $8 per share-by 2017. In May, it identified the first 105 Zellers sites across Canada that will be converted to Target stores, with plans to open most of them in 2013, according to the WSJ-and the company plans to spend an average of $10 million to remodel each location.
The company is in the process of relocating some "key U.S. executives" to Canada and is quickly working to build its management, supply chain, and IT teams in the country, the WSJ reported. The company plans to hire 100 new workers by the end of this year before it begins hiring store employees in 2012-with about 150 to 200 people reportedly expected to work at each location.
Steinhafel told the news outlet that expansion costs are running a bit beyond what the company expected because it's moving faster than originally planned.
Steinhafel shared the news with the WSJ on Sunday at an interview in Toronto before Target's sponsored IndyCar racer Dario Franchitti won the Honda Indy Toronto. The entire WSJ story, which requires a login to access, is available here.