Target to expand further in Canada with nine new stores in 2014

TORONTO Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:04am EST

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TORONTO Jan 29 (Reuters) - Target Corp will add more stores in Canada this year, the retailer said on Wednesday, even thought its 2013 entry into the country proved costlier than expected and forced it to cut its full-year profit forecast.

The discount department store operator said it will open nine new stores across Canada, adding to the 124 stores it opened last year.

Target, which competes with retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc, had a tough 2013. U.S. shoppers remained cautious and its Canadian expansion became costlier than expected and took longer to pay off.

Target offers a mix of household goods and trendy apparel and accessories. It opened its first Canadian stores in March 2013 to much fanfare, but it has since struggled to win over shoppers who were disappointed by the selection and pricing compared to its U.S. stores.

The Minneapolis-based company faced the additional challenge of a massive data breach during the holiday shopping season which resulted in weaker-than-expected sales during the period.

It said an investigation found that hackers stole the personal information of at least 70 million customers, including names, mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses, in the second-biggest retail cyber attack on record.

The company, which employs 361,000 people around the globe, also said last week it was cutting 475 jobs at its headquarters and other offices in Minnesota and will not fill 700 open positions worldwide.

The retailer plans to open five stores in Ontario starting this spring and open one each in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba.

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