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Target doubles Canadian renovation budget

Target Corp. has doubled its Canadian renovation budget, and could spend up to $2.3-billion to convert rundown Zellers stores into Target outlets in the next two years.

In U.S. regulatory filings, the company also stated that it plans to open up to 150 stores by 2013.

Target spent $1.8-billion to purchase 220 Zellers leaseholds, and speculation has been rampant about how many would be converted. Last week it announced 105 locations across Canada, and the company said it would announce more locations in September.

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"We believe this transaction will allow us to open 100 to 150 Target stores in Canada, primarily during 2013," the company stated in its 10Q filing, which provides more information on a company's quarterly earnings. "We are still in the process of evaluating each location currently leased by Zellers. We have the right to select up to 115 additional leases in advance of the second payment in third quarter 2011."

The company could take on leases and then offer them to other stores, or could give them back to the landlords. While some of the landlords in the first batch of stores received guarantees that the stores would be converted, not all of them can be so sure.

Target has already spent $11-million on its expansion. The money has been spent on legal, payroll and consulting expenses.

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