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The A-Team is ready to roll

Between now and March 2013, when the first Target stores open in Canada, there is a whole lot of heavy lifting to be done at the retailer’s new headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario.

Target has identified Tony Fisher as president of Target Canada, and according to Skip Stoelzing, a former Target merchant and head of the Northstar Partnering Group’s Minneapolis office, the company’s Canadian headquarters will eventually be staffed by 500 employees. An estimated 90% of those employees will be hired from within Canada across such functions as asset protection, healthcare, human resources, legal, marketing, merchandising, real estate, design and property management and supplier chain and distribution support.

Speaking last week in Minneapolis at “Canada 101: Understanding Target’s Next Market,” Stoelzing noted that Target has already filled several key leadership positions. Bryan Berg will serve as SVP stores and John Morioka will serve as SVP merchandising. Rick Maguire will serve as SVP merchandise planning and Todd Marshall is SVP operations and healthcare.

“If you know any of these folks, you know they are the A players at Target,” Stoelzing the audience of suppliers gathered for the event.

The former Target buyer also offered his perspective on what the merchandise organization led by Morioka is expected to look like. Stoelzing said he envisions three divisional merchandise managers reporting to Morioka with 18 senior buyers reporting to the DMMs. The DMM for apparel, accessories and home is Elisha Ballantyne, the DMM for health care is Tracey Koller, and Kristin Shane will serve as DMM for grocery, headlines and beauty, according to Stoelizing.

Although determining product assortments in Canada presents a new challenge for Target, Stoelzing said, “I am confident these folks will get it figured out.”

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