Despite an economy that seems unable to fully wake up, 2013 is set to become one of the great years in Canadian retail history – which also means it will be a blockbuster time for consumers and their retail rewards programs. The biggest news is the arrival of Target stores to Canada. The US based giant made its official debut earlier this month with the opening of three stores in southern Ontario, with a total of 24 to open their doors by the end of March. By the end of 2013, Target is scheduled to have 124 stores operating in Canada. Target has also announced that its customers will receive an additional five percent off purchases, every day, when shopping with Target’s REDcard products. This includes the Target Debit Card as well as the Target RBC MasterCard. The savings – which apply to almost everything that Targets carries, will be applied instantly at the time of purchase.
Target’s chief competitor, Walmart is also ramping up its Canadian operations in 2013. The retail titan is expected to spend $450 million across the country which will include the opening of 37 more super centres. The company also offers a rewards program for its customers and has its own MasterCard.
Starbucks is another iconic brand that is will feature much more Canadian content for the upcoming year. The coffee shop titan is scheduled to unveil 150 new locations across the country, (a number of the stores will be located within the new Targets) bringing the total to about 1350 stores by the end of 2013. Starbucks features a rewards program that gives its frequent customers free drinks. Customers even get a free cup of java on their birthday.
In January Sport Chek opened a state-of-the-art store in uptown Toronto which features everything from free valet parking to customer-designed running shoes. The Calgary based chain has announced plans to open another couple of state-of-the-art stores in 2013 and more than 100 Atmosphere and Sport Chek locations between now and 2018. Sport Chek offers customer rewards and features a no-annual fee Sport Chek MasterCard .
Renown retailer Holt Renfrew is also expanding its brand. The luxury specialist, which last year celebrated its 175 birthday, has announced plans to add another 40 percent of retail space over the next couple of years. It has also released its intentions to open hr2, a new series of stores that will feature, `designer goods at good prices’. The stores will include unique products that won’t overlap with the original Holt Renfrew stores. For 2013, hr2 stores are scheduled to open first in Montreal and then Toronto with more to follow by 2015. Holt Renfrew features a retail rewards program that is linked to its American Express card, earning points for virtually every dollar spent at any Holt Renfrew store in Canada.
The retail bonanza is set to roll into 2014 with the expansion of the Norstrom name into Canada. The Seattle based company has announced that it will open four stores of its discount Nordstrom Rack brand with locations in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa and Vancouver. Looks like it will be a good time to be a shopper and retail rewards collector for the next couple of years.