Was the hype worth it?

I came, I saw, I… left… un-wowed? And I put a question mark on that because I don’t know if that’s truly how I felt.

I’m referring to the highly anticipated arrival of Target in Canada. I ventured to Kildonan Place in Winnipeg to check out what all the fuss was about. Granted, the excitement of opening day had fizzled but would the first weekend be crazy with frenzied shoppers like on Boxing Day? Not really.

By all accounts the store was busy but there certainly was not a crowd-crushing stampede as many expected. Strangely there seemed to be more people in the store than actual product there.

I strolled through the pet section: lots of empty shelves. The household section: lots of empty shelves. Certainly these items weren’t sold out but I would expect that the much-touted launch of the American chain in Canada would be a little more, I dunno, finished.

I’m not sure what I had expected, after all it is a department store just like one I have been to hundreds of times before. It was Zellers-ish. It was Walmart-ish. It was nothing spectacular-ish.

Are there going to be newfangled products exclusive to Canada? Will there be gizmos and gadgets rarely seen in this country? Well, no, because most of the stuff wasn’t even there yet so I can’t really say.

I don’t think Canadians were expecting a new type of concept store, but rather comparable prices to that south of the border.

Were prices any different? Not really. If anything, some things were crazy expensive. A 12-pack of Pepsi was $3.33 at Superstore while it was over $5 at Target. Not that I would rush to Target to get that but the grocery section featured jacked-up prices on the Pepsi that it made me scared to go down the aisle to see the other prices.

Is it what we were waiting for? (Actually, I can’t say I was anticipating it anyway since I hate shopping.) Doesn’t seem like it.

Coincidentally I ran into four friends there (each individually) and none said they were overly impressed with the store. What did they buy? One bought a dozen eggs. One bought cooking spray.

Back when American chains first started invading Canada it seemed exciting and new but now it’s just an American version of stuff we already have.

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