In January, Target Corp. bought the leases to 220 Zellers stores, with plans to convert up to 150 of them into Targets.
J.Crew will open its first Canadian store this year, in Toronto.
Last July, TJX Cos. Inc. announced it plans to open up to 100 Marshalls stores in Canada, with the first openings planned for 2011.
In the fall of 2011, Dollar Tree acquired the 85-store Dollar Giant chain as a way to break into the market.
Express plans to open half a dozen stores in Canada in 2011, followed by 50 over the next five years.
Justice will open four Canadian stores this year, all in enclosed malls, according to Bob Vrenjack, of Jones Lang LaSalle.
Big Lots is the latest retailer to start planning entry into Canada, with its recent purchase of Liquidation World.
J.C. Penney has quietly been exploring expanding into Canada, according to Drew Keddy, of Colliers International.
Tanger Factor Outlets President and CEO Steven Tanger is bullish on Canada. Tanger is working with Canadian partner RioCan REIT to build up to 15 outlet centers throughout the country. The venture's first announced project is a proposed development in a Toronto suburb.