Annette Perreault and daughter Taleah are some of the first customers to enter the new Target at the Village Green Centre Tuesday.

Annette Perreault and daughter Taleah are some of the first customers to enter the new Target at the Village Green Centre Tuesday.

Target draws a crowd

There was a steady flow of foot traffic as Vernon residents checked out the new retailer on the block

There was a steady flow of foot traffic as Vernon residents checked out the new retailer on the block.

Target unveiled its 103,000-square-foot outlet at the Village Green Centre as part of a soft opening Tuesday.

“I’ve been looking forward to it,” said Marsha White, as she carried a few bags out of the store.

“I have seen it in the States and it’s my daughter’s favourite store.”

Anticipation has been building since Target Corporation acquired the leases of 220 Zellers across the country in 2011.

“I called all of my family to tell them that it’s opening,” said Annette Perreault before walking inside.

“We’ve been waiting and watching and wondering when it was opening.”

Mary Andersen was impressed with the store, which includes a Starbucks.

“It’s a nice clean store and everything is very open (design),” she said.

Others are needing more time to explore the 63,000-square-feet in shopping space.

“I think it’s very nice but I have not seen it all yet,” said Lil Walker.

About $10 million was spent to redevelop the former Zellers space.

Target will provide the Village Green Centre with another major anchor tenant.

“It’s absolutely fabulous,” said Scott Adam, mall manager.

“It brings a prominent retailer to the Village Green Centre. They expect big things from this market.”

With Vernon drawing consumers from the North Okanagan, Shuswap, Revelstoke and the Arrow Lakes, Adam believes the addition of Target could have a major economic boost for the community.

“This is the first opening of Target in the Okanagan so we expect to see some visits early on from Kelowna,” he said.

The official grand opening of the Vernon Target will be in three weeks.

A total of 22 Target locations opened in Western Canada Tuesday and there will be two May 14.

“Target is thrilled to be opening stores in Western Canada, providing a one-stop shopping destination that meets the wants and needs of our guests,” said Tony Fisher, Target Canada president.

Target will open 124 stores across Canada in 2013.