Target’s Most Valuable Canadian Store Real Estate

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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. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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    • Instead of removing comments entirely – which presumes you have something to hide or what not – why not try and be more transparent in your reporting. For articles that are basically retreads of press-release – why not say so? There is no problem with doing this and I think transparency imbues respect.

      I think your audience comes here:
      1) Because its a centralized voice for retail news in Canada, including press releases in Canada
      2) Analysis, per above
      3) Access to insiders

      You don’t have to offer all three of the above in every article. For example – the Lole article – I had never heard of Lole and it was interesting, but I get the feedback you received about it being kinda promotional. Just be consistent, clear and transparent.

      • Thank you, Jack. We’ll endeavour to do so. We try to take a positive spin on what’s happening in Canada and that’s possibly why some of our articles almost appear to be "PR". Articles are based on what the Editor-in-Chief (myself) finds interesting, and the daily news summaries from other sources is the news that many expect.

        Some of my content may be mistaken for advertorials and in the future, anything paid will be revealed. We’ll be promoting a conference next week, for example, and we’ll be paid for that. Neither Lole nor Alton Gray paid us a dime for their articles and neither did the subject of today’s article (which is obvious, hopefully).

        Good to at least see people are paying attention to Retail Insider, because it’s still more of a hobby and side business.

  1. I was at the ICSC this past week in Whistler and I can tell you that all big box retailers are fully budgeted for 2015 and pretty much 2016. Landlord’s will have to get on their knees and beg for guys like BBY, TJX, SPLS, Michael’s and other big box guys to take space.
    The earliest we will see these stores get back filled is 2017.
    Sadly the retail shopping centre industry is headed into the abyss and many people will drown. Brokerages will fold and small landlords will take a beating.

  2. Bayshore will be interesting the mall is in a low income area but the other thing is its a very heavy immigrant community so maybe a Giant Tiger on one floor and a Loblaws on the other.

  3. I think u will see Walmart Very interested in at least 1/3 or more of Target leases especially if they don’t have a store in the area or one at all. You may see stores like Giant Tiger interested in some leases…maybe not the entire store..but Id say half for sure. Some locations could be popular for a Grocery Store. I know Walmart would loved to have had more leases initially when Target sold a bunch…Some did go to Walmart but I think they would have wanted more! I live in Grande Prairie Alberta and I know Walmart has been hinting for a while they want a second store…And this may be the opportunity they been waiting for!

  4. A recent visit to the US has me wondering if Walmart could use the Target exit from Canada and the continued fallout from the Safeway acquisition by Sobey’s in western Canada present an opportunity for Walmart to introduce their Neighbourhood Market concept here. If they did this with a click and collect rollout to those same locations they could really step up their level of influence in the grocery space. Definitely an interesting opportunity that could have impact for years to come.


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