Target eyes pharmacy business in Canada

A woman pulls shopping carts through the aisle of a Target store on the shopping day dubbed

A woman pulls shopping carts through the aisle of a Target store on the shopping day dubbed "Black Friday" in Torrington, Conn. Nov. 25, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

REUTERS

, Last Updated: 3:31 PM ET

Target Corp will look for franchise owners to operate pharmacies in as many of its Canadian stores as possible, the U.S. discount retailer said on Monday.

Minneapolis-based Target aims to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada starting in March or April 2013, taking over leases from Hudson’s Bay Co’s Zellers discount unit, which has its own prescription business.

Target said existing prescription files would “remain in the possession of Zellers.”

While Target’s entry is expected to put pressure on the margins of many Canadian retailers, the $10 million in renovations planned for each Zellers store is also an opportunity for competitors like Shoppers Drug Mart Corp and Jean Coutu Group to win new customers.

On a November conference call, Shoppers Chief Executive Domenic Pilla said his company would try to benefit from Target’s entry by taking customers as Zellers stores shut down for remodelling.

(Reporting by Allison Martell; editing by Rob Wilson)

 


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