Millennials across Canada are still waiting for their dose of Zellers nostalgia.
Hudson’s Bay Co. teased Canadian shoppers back in August with a Zellers comeback in the form of select retail locations and an e-commerce website as early as 2023. The discount retailer, which was acquired by HBC in 1978, reached the peak of popularity in the 1990’s before it was sold to Target Corp in 2011 and then eventually phased out in 2013.
HBC is now revitalizing the brand – but there’s a catch. The “revitalization” is simply going to be in the form of a designated section of HBC’s brick-and-mortar department stores.. which few people rarely visit anyways.
Back in August, there were already several pop-up Zellers stores within HBC’s department locations in Ontario and Quebec. And those locations, quite frankly, were disappointing to say the least and unlikely to drive much for sales, or even satisfy the nostalgia factor that so many are clinging to.
That nostalgia factor appears to be the driving force behind the excitement seen on social media for the Zellers brand. While many speak positively of the store and its accompanying restaurant, the uncomfortable truth that many seem to forget, is that the store closed down due to an inability to compete with Walmart and other budget-focused retailers that co-existed in the Canadian retail landscape. With its aging infrastructure, dated appearance, and inferior products and pricing, the retailer was simply unable to compete with its neighbours from the South.
With the arrival of the new year, discount shoppers donning their rose-coloured glasses are still waiting for the grand hurrah. HBC hasn’t released much information regarding the resurrection of the Zellers brand, alluding to the promised comeback only with a few social media posts. In December, Zellers created its first website and Instagram page, posting several videos giving insight into the kinds of products that will be offered, including kitchenware, fitness equipment, kids toys, and pet supplies.
As such, there hasn’t been word on when the rest of Canada will see the nostalgic brand “where the lowest price is the law,” or whether there will be a Zellers restaurant accompanying the comeback.
Information for this briefing was found via Zellers, Instagram, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.