EDMONTON – A US retailer has set up shop in Alberta, opening its first two stores in Edmonton on Thursday.
Edmonton’s South Common and Manning Town Centre locations are Alberta’s first taste of Marshalls, America’s second largest off-price retailer. It started expanding into Canada in 2011 with stores in Ontario, B.C. and Manitoba.
The retail giant advertises that its prices are anywhere from 40 to 60 per cent lower than those found in department stores, similar to Winners and HomeSense. And if the interior of the new stores resemble those two, that’s because all three are owned by the same company: TJX Canada.
“In the US three brands coexist very nicely and I think there’s not a lot of off price options in Canada as it stands, so the Canadian consumer wants great value. And I think this just creates more choice for them,” says PR Manager Tamara Robbins Griffith.
At the new South Common location, shoppers lined up outside starting at about 8 a.m., eagerly waiting for the doors to open.
When they did an hour later, a little girl was the first person inside and got to cut the ribbon.
Staff clapped and cheered as customers filed in, quickly packing the store, which is known for its discounted shoes and sells everything from brand-name clothing, accessories, home apparel, kids toys, and even quinoa.
But will shoppers see the same low prices as the US stores? The director of the University of Alberta’s School of Retailing says probably not, but he does believe it’s good for the local economy and could spur more competition.
There are plans to have 27 Marshall stores in Canada by the end of August, and plenty more in the coming years.