Government reviewing Target’s Canadian plans

TORONTO — The federal government is conducting a review of U.S. retail giant Target Corp.’s proposed move into Canada to determine whether bookshelves and cultural products will carry enough home grown content.

TORONTO — The federal government is conducting a review of U.S. retail giant Target Corp.’s proposed move into Canada to determine whether bookshelves and cultural products will carry enough home grown content.

The government review, under the Investment Canada Act, was ordered by Heritage Minister James Moore, said department spokesman James Maunder.

“The Investment Act requires foreign investments in the … book industry to be of net cultural benefit to Canada,” he said.

The review stems from an order by the Privy Council Office, ordered on Mar. 27, which found it “in the public interest” to review Target’s investment in Canada.

Target said Thursday that the review will focus on its planned retailing of cultural products, including books, DVDs, music and magazines.

“Target looks forward to working with the Department of Cultural Heritage regarding the retailing of cultural products,” spokeswoman Lisa Gibson said in a statement.

The American retail giant (NYSE:TGT) is poised to begin opening the first of between 125 and 135 stores in Canada at former Zellers locations acquired from Hudson’s Bay Co.

The store openings are set to start next year.

Because the deal was purely a real estate transaction, it did not meet the threshold for concern from Industry Canada — which often launches foreign investment reviews, said Margaux Stastny, director of communications for Industry Minister Christian Paradis.

“The transaction between Zellers and Target was a real estate transaction and not the acquisition of a business, assets, technology, or employees,” she said.

Its not the first time Moore has ordered an Investment Canada Act review of a U.S. retailing behemoth’s plans to move north of the border.

His department ordered a review of online book seller Amazon’s (NYSE:AMZN) proposal to set up a “fulfilment centre” warehouse in Canada in 2010.

The move was approved, with the condition that Amazon invest more than $20 million, including $1.5 million for cultural events and awards and for promoting Canadian-authored books abroad.

Amazon’s commitment also includes adding Canadian jobs, improving service for Canadian consumers, and increasing the visibility of Canadian and French-language products on its Canadian website.

Many independent authors, booksellers and publishers had been wary that Amazon’s arrival would mean even more American dominance in Canada’s book industry and would diminish the market for Canadian content.

Canada’s Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSX:IDG) decision to sell the e-reader company Kobo Inc. to Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. for US$315 million was also reviewed and approved under the act.

Target’s proposed arrival on Canadian soil comes as more American chains set their sights on the allure of a relatively stable Canadian economy and steadier consumer confidence.

Target, a 109-year old American retailer that was part of Dayton-Hudson Corp. before changing its name in 2000, is one of the biggest U.S. department store chains, with revenues of more than US$67 billion in its last fiscal year.

The company has more than 355,000 employees and 1,763 stores and is the second-biggest discount retailer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Just Posted

Alberta Culture Days coming next weekend to Red Deer area

Lots of artistic activites and shows for all ages

RDC conference offers career insight

Sessions offer tips on how to make jump from school to work world

Truck crashes into Red Deer pub

Driver arrested and faces charges

Red Deer teachers are trained in dealing with students that strike

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools reported 39 “staff physical contact incidents” in one year

Assault charge dropped against man accused of beating baby

Crown prosecutor says no likelihood of conviction in 2016 case

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as… Continue reading

Tiger Woods winning adds to Ryder Cup buzz

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France — Already the most intense competition in golf, the Ryder… Continue reading

Ex-Sabres captain Brian Gionta retires after 16 NHL seasons

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Brian Gionta has retired after 16 NHL seasons, two… Continue reading

Curling season kicks off after massive shake-up of multiple men’s teams

With so many top Canadian men’s curling teams opening this season with… Continue reading

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

OTTAWA — Newly released figures show Canadian officials have removed only a… Continue reading

Texas prisons often deny dentures to inmates with no teeth

HOUSTON — Inmates without teeth in Texas are routinely denied dentures because… Continue reading

Sex assault charge stayed against one British sailor, trial proceeds for other

HALIFAX — The Crown has stayed a sexual assault charge against a… Continue reading

Most Read