Target to Enter Canada, May Open 200 Stores

The company said earlier this year that it may expand to Canada, Mexico, or Latin America. Now it reportedly has plans to open up to 200 stores north of U.S. borders.

Target Corporation is eyeing its first expansion outside of U.S. borders, Target spokeswoman Amy Reilly confirmed Thursday-but she said that the company could not disclose further details at this time.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, representatives for the Minneapolis-based retailer recently met with Canadian real estate developers at a trade show in Toronto.

The Wall Street Journal cites executives from RioCan, a Toronto-based real estate investment trust. RioCan Chief Operating Officer Fred Waks and Chief Financial Officer Rags Davloor-who shared information with the paper-were not immediately available for comment Thursday morning.

The representatives told the The Wall Street Journal that Target is eyeing significant expansion into Canada-with the possibility of opening up to 200 stores in the country during the coming decade. Target reportedly is looking to open between six and 10 stores in late 2014 or 2015.

Reilly confirmed in a Thursday phone interview that the company plans to enter Canada, but she said that it is too early to disclose details. “We are exploring opportunities in Canada and are optimistic we can open our first stores there by mid-decade,” she said.

The potential expansion is not a surprise. The company announced in January plans for growth-including remodels, smaller stores, and international expansion during the next five to 10 years.

At the time, the retailer named Canada, Mexico, and Latin America as potential countries for expansion.

Target is also adding stores within U.S. borders. The company announced last week plans to open 10 new stores on October 10.

In addition, the company said late last month that it will launch small-format stores in 10 U.S. cities, including somewhere in the Twin Cities.

Target-which operates a retail segment and a credit-card segment-now serves customers at 1,752 stores in 49 states nationwide and on its Web site. It is Minnesota's second-largest public company based on its revenue, which totaled $65.4 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.