July 6, 2012 / 5:40 PM / in 5 years

Target's Canadian expansion gets Ottawa's OK

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The federal government has given Target Corp (TGT.N) the green light to open more than 100 stores in Canada after the U.S. discount chain promised to sell Canadian books and other cultural items, Heritage Minister James Moore said on Friday.

Target plans to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada starting in March or April 2013, taking over store leases from Hudson’s Bay Co’s Zellers discount banner.

Ottawa ordered a review of Target’s intentions in March to judge whether its move into Canada would be of net cultural benefit to the country.

“Target has been granted approval ... to sell cultural products in its Canadian stores,” Moore said in a statement, saying the chain had promised more than C$3.5 billion ($3.4 billion) in capital investment.

“Target’s new investment in Canada’s economy will create over 20,000 new jobs across the country and will include the commitment to sell uniquely Canadian cultural products in its Canadian stores.”

Canada imposes provisions on Canadian cultural content in light of the U.S. dominance of the publishing and entertainment industries.

Ottawa’s approval was based on commitments made by Target, which include:

* employment of 100 to 200 people at each store

* the availability and promotion of Canadian cultural products

* the participation of Canadians in the business

* Target’s support for Canadian cultural events and organizations.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway

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