Move over Zellers—Target has arrived!

Target location in Huntsville, North Carolina. (daysofthundr46 / Flickr)

After months of clearance sales at Zellers prior to its closure late last year, retail giant Target Corporation has arrived.

The second largest discount retailer in the United States, Target has recently filled the vacancy at Brandon’s Shoppers Mall, meeting much eager anticipation from the entire Westman region. Sporting its customary red and white, the corporation urges customers to “Expect More. Pay less.”, but can they deliver?

Having opened on May 7th, 2013, Target appears to bear little differences from other retail outlets in the city, and is identical to American locations, aside from Canadian sports memorabilia. With an assortment of interior and exterior decorations reminiscent of the variety at Winners or Michaels, the store has an relaxed shopping environment, perchance due in part to the spacious layout and neat, organized departments, or perhaps due to the Starbucks at the entrance of the store, the smell of which permeates the store’s exterior regardless of how windy or dusty it may be outside. One of the best locations for summer fixings such as lawn chairs and pool toys, Target also has a reasonable food department, one complete with a freezer section but which lacks fresh produce. Additionally, it possesses an extensive electronics section and an even more impressive collection of greeting cards.

To enhance shopping ease, Target shopping carts are delightful to manoeuver and the ergonomically-designed baskets with smooth rounded edges prevent the scraping of legs while perusing the premises. Price checking devices are clearly labeled, easily located and interspersed throughout the store at reasonable intervals, and the self-checkout option at the Shoppers Mall entrance puts Superstore’s awkwardly cramped self-checkout space to shame.

Although still becoming accustomed to the layout of the building, staff was friendly and helpful, a sentiment echoed by one employee the Quill spoke with. “Our team leaders [supervisors] are very focused on our guests [customers] having a great experience. … I feel really comfortable working here because they’re approachable.”

The single drawback to shifting patronage would be price range. Target is generally more expensive than other retail stores like Superstore, especially in the clothes department where the price difference is, however, excusable given it compensates for durability lacking in garments purchased at the aforementioned retail locations. In terms of the name-brand options in the mall, Target will likely be the less economically taxing alternative, while introducing a clothing department with that the average shopper can be content with.

“I’ve had people tell me how good our store is and one lady [told] me that we will kick Wal-Mart’s butt,” said the employee, adding that Target has a price-matching policy on all merchandise.

Besides the debit machines at the check-outs being firmly fixed at an angle awkward for anyone below the height of 5’5”, Target embodies everything Zellers wanted to be while effectively obliterating the messy, empty-shelved, relative uselessness of its predecessor. Presenting something of a new one-stop-shop attraction for mall patrons, it is a well-rounded establishment capable of creating competition within the mall, if not within the city. Regardless of existing preconceptions of American Target locations and current loyalties to retail venues, Target is worth a visit this summer.