Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is bringing the Zellers brand back to 25 locations across Canada, including Dartmouth’s Mic Mac Mall.
HBC announced locations on Jan. 18. The second location in Nova Scotia is Mayflower Mall in Sydney.
Instead of having stand-alone stores, Zellers will be occupying space within existing Hudson’s Bay stores, ranging from 8,000 to 10,000 square feet.
The company tested the concept with pop-ups at two malls: Burlington Centre, about 50 km west of downtown Toronto, in 2020 and the following year at Galeries d’Anjou in Montreal.
It was a big enough success for the company to plan a wider-scale rollout, said assistant professor Janice Rudkowski from Toronto Metropolitan University’s school of retail management, noting department stores across Canada have been struggling.
“The Bay thinks this is a strategic move,” she said. “When you have a big investment like this, there’s no question that there’s a connection to, you know, the overall strategy of the organization. So if they plan on positioning Zellers as more of a discount store, that would be different positioning from some of their other assets.”
Zellers is “a brand deeply rooted in the Canadian experience,” stated chief business officer Adam Powell in an August 2022 press release announcing its comeback and new e-commerce platform.
“Spanning generations, people hold distinct connections to Zellers through shared experiences with family and friends, and we look forward to building on that in the future.”
Long-time Zellers fan, Dawn Munroe, said “I think it’s going to be amazing.”
Nat Cook has one of the store’s classic branded ‘Zeddy’ teddy bears and said they remember taking trips to Zellers with their grandfather.
“I’m hoping that they’re going to keep decent prices for people, for all people to access,” they said.
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