Target Corp. has unveiled its pharmacy strategy for its planned Canadian stores.

Target Corp., Canada, pharmacy model, Canadian stores, Zellers, pharmacies, pharmacy franchise model, pharmacy business, pharmacist-owners, Tony Fisher, Hudson's Bay Co., discount store chain, mass-merchandise department stores, SATOV Consultants, pharmacy services

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Target unveils pharmacy model for Canada

February 3rd, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS – Target Corp. has unveiled its pharmacy strategy for its planned Canadian stores.

The U.S. discount store chain, slated to open its first Canadian locations in March-April 2013, said this week that it aims to operate pharmacies in as many stores in Canada as possible. Plans call for a pharmacy franchise model that the company said will allow pharmacist-owners to own and operate pharmacy businesses inside Target's Canadian stores.

Target said it will kick off its search for pharmacist franchise owners in March. For the time being, since the retailer's first Canadian stores are due to open until next year, the current Zellers prescription files will remain in Zellers' possession.

The U.S. chain noted that it has devised a "best-in-class pharmacy franchise model specifically for the Canadian marketplace" and that the model offers pharmacists an opportunity to own and grow a pharmacy business with no entry fees and the support of a national retailer.

"Target believes health care is an important part of our Canadian store strategy, and we are committed to providing superior community-based health care," Tony Fisher, president of Target Canada, said in a statement. "We have worked hard to understand the Canadian health care landscape and believe our unique pharmacy franchise model will greatly appeal to pharmacists while best serving the needs of patients in Canada."

Target announced its entry into the Canadian market just over a year ago with a deal to buy up to 220 store sites of discounter Zellers Inc., part of Hudson's Bay Co. Since then, Target said it has purchased the leasehold interests of 189 Zellers sites and aims to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada, with most opening their doors for business in 2013. Early last month Target named the locations of its first 24 Canadian stores, all in Ontario.

Zellers has 273 mass-merchandise department stores across Canada and most have pharmacies except in Quebec, where only a handful of locations include a pharmacy department.

A study released in July by management consulting firm SATOV Consultants found that although Canadians are well-aware of many of Target's product offerings, less than half of Canadians know that Target offers pharmacy services.