August 21, 2014 8:19 pm

WATCH: U.S. Retailer opens in the Okanagan

It’s been highly anticipated by many Okanagan residents.

A new retail store opened in Kelowna this morning to a throng of waiting shoppers.

Marshalls is a U-S retailer that’s trying to make a go of it in Canada.

The doors hadn’t even opened yet and already anxious shoppers lined up to be among the first to take a look inside Kelowna’s newest retail store.

“It’s pretty exciting. I’ve been waiting so I had to brave the crowds,” said one shopper.

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About 300 people filed into the store when it opened the doors at 9a.m. Thursday.

The store features about 20-thousand square feet of shopping space and brand names.

It belongs to the same company that owns Winners and HomeSense.

“You have so many people coming up and saying oh we love Marshalls in the States, so happy you are here. There’s been a lot of that which is great to hear,” says Marshalls District Manager Leslie Berg.

Retail experts, like Marketing professor at Mount Royal University Mohammed El Hazzouri, say Marshalls success will depend on what it learned from other American retailers trying to infiltrate the Canadian market like Target.

The U-S retailer lost money during its first year in Canada because it couldn’t deliver what Canadians expected.

“If we can find bargains at Marshalls it will be a good business for them and for us. If not then I expect them to face the same thing that Target faced,” says Hazzouri.

But Berg says Marshalls is confident it will be successful on this side of the border.

“I think we always learn and we watch what other people and companies do but I think we have a proven business model and that is what has really made us so successful. Winners And HomeSense are following that same path so we obviously always watch but we have a proven business model,” says Berg.

The new Marshalls store in Kelowna has hired 70 staff members.

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