John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

It has been years since I started writing about Target stores coming to Canada.  I remember one rumour out of the east that had the Minneapolis retailers taking a look at the Hudson Bay chain as a method of expansion into Canada.  That was before there even was a discussion about the purchase of Zellers stores from Hudson Bay Co.

Back in January 2011 Target announced they had bought the leases of 178 Zellers stores in Canada from the American investor who owns The Hudson Bay Co. for $1.8 billion.  The Target purchase came with a news release that said the US retailer would convert 140 stores to the Target Canada brand.  That has been reduced to 139 locations and the company sold 39 stores to their arch rival, Walmart.

Now we are getting down to days before the first Canadian Target stores will open and it is expected that 12 of the remodeled stores will be ready for a March opening.  The original list from last year said that the first twenty-four stores would be open in March 2013.

For the local shoppers who are waiting to see their first Target store it should be a little longer, maybe May before the Kelowna store is open to the public.  As you can see by the work that is being done on the outside of the building, it is a massive change.

Target Canada is investing $10.5 million in each of their new stores in remodeling to the Target image.

The Canadian President Tony Fisher was quoted as saying, “the Canadian division will be in the black by the end of the fiscal year.”

In February Target US will bring into the mix a new Red Card which will allow shoppers using the Target credit card or debit card a five percent discount at the till.  There is no word on what they will do in Canada when they open but they do have 30,000 credit users in Canada now.  The Target credit cards are managed by the TD Bank American division.  There are also important numbers that will help in bringing the store into the market.  Seventy percent of Canadians have shopped Target on their trips south for cross border shopping.

There is going to be a huge change in the Canadian marketplace as everyone in the business battles for the customers that are available.  We have some very sharp marketers in this country who are not going to face this bump in the road without a true fight and they are gearing up to do that very thing.  These merchants have fought the battle with Walmart and it made them better retailers for doing so.  The consumer is the big winner here because the prices are going to be lower and more competitive.

While I was working on my column, Walmart announced that it plans to open 37 Supercentres by the end of 2014. That will give the retailer 388 stores in Canada with more changes expected.

Last year the company overtook 73 projects including the stores that were purchased from Target. There are eleven Superscenter grand openings this weekend across the country.


Randy Goodman, a veteran of more than 20 years of experience as an international sport physiotherapist, has been appointed Director of Institute Operations for Fortius Sport & Health.

Goodman joins the Fortius Institute, the integrated team of sport & exercise medicine practitioners that will be resident at the Fortius Athlete Development Centre in Burnaby, B.C., from the highly-touted Pinnacle Elite Athlete training centre in Kelowna.  He played a leadership role in the conception, establishment and operations of three clinics operated under the auspices of Pinnacle Physiotherapy in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

The appointment of Goodman, one of only two clinical specialists in sports physiotherapy in Canada and the manager of the Athletes Village Rehabilitation Centre at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is effective immediately.

Goodman, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy and Diploma of Sports certification in Physiotherapy, is an examiner and instructor for Sport Physiotherapy Canada and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia.  He has lectured on sport physiotherapy throughout North America and has served at more than 50 national and international sports events.

“This is an opportunity to help build a unique project at a particularly unique time in athlete development, health promotion and in my own career,” said Goodman.  “Few people get a crack at one once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity let alone two, but to be part of the team of sport & exercise medicine leaders that has been assembled by Fortius Sport & Health is very much in the same category as Vancouver 2010.”

A native of Winnipeg, Goodman completed his Physiotherapy Degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax in 1988 and added the post-graduate certification of Diploma of Sports Physiotherapy from Sport Physiotherapy Canada six years later.

I have known Randy since he started his business here.  His hundreds of clients, including some of the top athletes in this country, will miss his expertise and his willingness to make things work.


All across Canada there is word of a blitz from the scam operators attempting to disrupt your computers.  There are pop-ups claiming to be from the RCMP or CSIS saying your computer has been associated with some terrible crimes.  The message will tell you have you been locked out and it will cost $100 to have the computer “unlocked”.

This is a scam.

These messages are not from the RCMP.  If you have been “locked out” of your system it is an indicator your system may have been infected with malware and you will need to take steps to address the problem.

Or you will receive an email from a Wendy Hiller someone you don’t know.  Delete this immediately. These scammers are using all kinds of comfortable Anglo-Saxon names to suck you into the scam.


The Bay is closing their restaurant this Sunday. I believe they were leased out to a new group a few years ago. We have had many good meals in there when we were shopping. They made the greatest cheese buns and soups were always homemade style. I am sorry to see them go.


There is a lot going on out at the giant car wash on Highway 97N. I can remember when I interviewed the people building this car, truck and bus wash plus a service station up there on the right as you headed north. Now I understand it has been sold to Western Star from across the highway and will now also be a parts centre, and as well a drive thru car wash with all the gadgets.  I also was told at the end of the car wash a machine "Armor All’s" your tires. I’ll have to see this one.

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