After buying up a bunch of Zellers stores a few years ago American retail giant Target has opened it’s first few stores here in BC. I woke up a little earlier than normal on this fine Saturday in May to pack up my little girl and head out to see if Candian Target was the same as American Target. My last visit to a Target store south of the border was about 2 years ago but I remember being pleasantly surprised by the brands they carried and blown away by their selection and great prices compared to Walmart among others. I equated Target to being a slightly nicer, slightly more expensive Walmart with way cooler stuff.
Flash forward to today. Hayley and I pulled into the parking lot at Willowbrook Mall in Langley where one of the new Target stores had just opened up 3 days ago. The lot was very full as I’m sure lots of folks were just as curious about Target as I was. The Willowbrook store is a lot smaller than the Coquitlam Centre store but is still a decent size. I found the aisles quite cramped especially if there were two shopping carts passing one another. The carts are oddly wide at the back end making them difficult to maneuver in tight aisles.
The selection at this particular store seemed quite lacking. There wasn’t the “cool stuff” I remember from the Target in Bellingham. The selection is absolutely abysmal if you happen to be a guy. The menswear section is tiny. It seems like a complete afterthought. To be honest I had a hard time finding it at all… The electronics section was well laid out and had a nice Apple display up front with the usual wall of flat screens at the back. The housewares section is fairly large and the selection is pretty good. The one area of the store I thought was above average was the Kitchen department. Large selection of knives, utensils, place settings, small appliances etc.
The prices seemed about average, I bought some Tide laundry detergent “pods” – $18.59 for a 62 pack ($19.97 for a 72 pack or $16.97 for a 57 pack at Walmart). A Chef’s Choice knife sharpener set me back $9.99 (the same price at www.cabelas.ca ). I also picked up some super sexy Fruit of the Loom boxer briefs, a 4 packs for $16.99 ($17.94 at Old Navy, I couldn’t find another retailer that listed the price online). I bought Hayley a toy because she behaved herself – a Daisy and Pluto figure pack for $9.99 (the same price as Toys r Us)
I expected more. Target is still a slightly nicer, slightly more expensive (not by much) version of Walmart but the selection is lacking.