As it pushes ahead with expansion in Canada, Target Corp. continues to spotlight its pharmacies.

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Target Canada steers allergy sufferers to its pharmacists

April 24th, 2014

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – As it pushes ahead with expansion in Canada, Target Corp. continues to spotlight its pharmacies.

Target has positioned pharmacy as a key offering in its Canadian stores.

The discount store chain said Thursday that Target pharmacists across Canada are available to help answer customers' questions about allergies and give advice on how to control their nagging allergy symptoms this spring.

Target, which has 127 stores in Canada, noted that its pharmacists can recommend over-the-counter medications — including pill, nasal spray and eye drop remedies — to alleviate allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, watery and itchy eyes, scratchy swollen throat and dry cough. Target pharmacists, too, can help customers identify common allergy triggers, including allergens such as tree, grass and weed pollens and which seasons they accumulate.

Target added that it also offers a wide range of spring cleaning products to trap allergy triggers and help keep the pollen and allergen counts lower in the home.

About one in four Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies and, following the rough winter weather, the 2014 allergy season is expected to be one of the worst, the company said.

"Allergies can often be confused with the common cold, and it's important to differentiate before seeking treatment," Bowen Chen, a pharmacist for Target Canada, said in a statement. "At this time of year, the main allergen is tree pollen, while grass pollens dominate in the summer and weed pollens in the autumn. You can rely on your local pharmacist to be a good resource for helping to manage your seasonal allergies and recommending the best products and solutions based on your specific allergens. Effectively controlling allergies is especially important in preventing symptoms from leading to more serious complications such as asthma attacks. "

Target opened its first Canadian stores just over a year ago and announced in late January that it planned to add nine more locations to the 124 Target stores in all 10 provinces. Five of the new store locations are in Ontario, and the rest are in Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia. Three openings each are planned for the spring, summer and fall.

Target announced its entry into the Canadian market in 2011 with a deal to buy up to 220 store sites of discounter Zellers Inc. And in February 2012, Target said it plans to operate pharmacies in as many stores in Canada as possible, unveiling a pharmacy franchise model to enable pharmacist-owners to own and operate pharmacy businesses inside its Canadian stores.