Final testing underway as Target prepares to soft open 24 stores in MarchMISSISSAUGA, ON, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Target today announced that it is opening three pilot stores in Ontario on March 5 at Stone Road in Guelph, Milton Mall Shopping Centre in Milton and Gates of Fergus in Fergus. The three pilot stores are the first Target locations to open in Canada, and the first of 124 Target stores that will open across the country throughout 2013. This marks the final phase in a testing process, which was designed to prepare systems, train team members and determine operational readiness as the first wave of 24 stores soft open across Ontario later in March. Each pilot store will open to the public on March 5 at 8 a.m., and guests will be welcomed into bright, clean stores with wide aisles, great guest service and a trend-right merchandise assortment that will continue to expand over the coming weeks. Although hours may fluctuate as the testing process continues, the pilot stores are expected to be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Like the majority of Target locations opening in Canada, the pilot stores feature a licensed Starbucks, as well as an in-store pharmacy designed to provide guests with superior patient-centered healthcare. "The Target team is excited to open these test locations as we put the finishing touches on our stores, assortments and inventory," said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada. "We look forward to delivering on our Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise and providing an outstanding shopping experience as we approach our grand opening in early April." Target is committed to providing Canadian guests with a one-stop shopping destination for affordable, stylish, quality products; everything from fashion, beauty and apparel, to home, grocery, personal care and more. In January, Target unveiled the selection of national brands, design partners and owned brands that will be available at Target stores this spring. This includes exclusive, limited time collaborations with Roots and Hollywood stylist, Kate Young; as well as ongoing collaborations such as the Nate Berkus Collection, the Sonia Kashuk Collection, Giada De Laurentiis for Target, and Shaun White apparel. Each store will carry an extensive range of Target owned and exclusive brands, including C9 by Champion, Circo, Archer Farms, Market Pantry and Up & Up, to name just a few. Target is proud of its commitment to sustainable business practices, and Target Canada stores will be among the company's most sustainable locations to date as it seeks LEED certification for all Canadian stores opening in 2013.