Target opened for the first time in Canada earlier this month; with three stores in Western Ontario and then yesterday several more stores finally opened their doors in Toronto. What I envisioned for these first in a life time ‘soft’ openings was a rush of crazed discount shoppers lining up for days outside, with a Tim Horton’s coffee in hand, rushing through the doors upon the store opening, running through the aisles grabbing whatever they could, filling up their cart and leaving with a surprisingly short receipt. While the shoppers did come out, there were lines, of a bout a couple dozen and over 100 at certain locations, the discounts and low priced items were missing in action.
Prior to the opening of the first three stores I learned that the Canadian Target pricing would be “competitive for the market” if you don’t know what this means then simply put; retail products are priced higher in Canada often, because retailers can get away with it, therefore “competitive” just means on par with other Canadian retails already present in our market. Target is not necessarily considering their pricing in the US but rather want to be on par with other Canadian retailers. Makes sense, but that would mean there is still a gap in our market for the super-awesome discount chain we Canadian had been searching for.
It seems that these days everyone is looking for a bargain, understandably, I know prices of our favourite products have been rising and I'm not just speaking fashion but groceries and gasoline (oh gas, hold me back before I go on a rampage). I only think it’s fair that us Canadians get our hands on some of the same products our American friends do and at the same price point.
I guess that being Italian has made me keener for a deal. Let me explain, I've yet to meet an Italian who doesn't think that bargaining at a retail chain is perfectly acceptable behaviour. Speaking to the manager and asking if she can “bring the price down a bit” is common, and feeling “ripped off” is what often causes a scene to be made and a flee from said store when the manager explains that she doesn't set the prices nor can she change them. Sigh…
While I have yet to venture into the new Canadian stores to see for myself, I have been across the border to shop at Target in Buffalo NY and wasn't overly impressed with their selection of products; I was in fact impressed with the prices. An entire cart of items for under $130 was the best deal I had ever encountered (except for my 80% off Louboutin espadrilles, but that’s a whole other story for another day)
On the other hand, while living in the UK I fell totally in love with Primark. Our Primark in Cardiff had two full floors of women’s clothing and accessories, an entire floor dedicated to home wares and decorating and several other floors full of stuff you defiantly don’t need but can’t say no to because it’s so damn cheap. The clothing in Primark “boutique” is sometimes so cheap it falls apart as you’re wearing it, but it’s always on trend and you can’t go wrong with the price point. You can get an entire new outfit from head to toe + accessories on a student’s budget (READ- non-existent shopping budget)They never let me down, and ever since leaving Wales I had always wished they would cross the pond and open up some stores in Canada.
I do believe that you get what you pay for, but sometimes you just want a cool cheap outfit to fill that shopping void and from my experience here in Toronto there isn't really a place you can go to find that, at least nowhere that compares to Primark in the UK or Target in the US.
So tell me, wherever you live where is your go-to for cheap fashion? Also, to my Canadian peeps, if you've been to one of the new Target or Tar-jay boutique as they like to call it what did you think? Is it worth me venturing over this week or wait for the line ups and hype to die down? And most importantly, does anyone know if they will be carrying all of the cool collaborations (Missioni, Prabal Grung in the past) that Target does several times a year?" Because really lets face it, that's what we are most excited about.